On June 7, 2021, Stetson University Director of Athletics Jeff Altier and Deputy Director of Athletics Alicia Queally announced the appointment of Brian Young as Stetson University’s 10th head football coach.
Young is a native of Savannah, Georgia and a product of Groves High School.
Young, 49, will return to the Stetson program which he helped return to the field and served as Defensive Coordinator for eight years after one year away as a member of the football staff at Georgia Southern University.
“First and foremost, I want to thank Jeff, Alicia and the entire committee for giving me the opportunity to participate in the process to identify the next head coach at Stetson University,” Young said. “The opportunity to spend time with President Christopher Roellke, as well as Faculty Athletics Representative Dr. Mike Bitter, was awesome.
“I also want to make sure to thank Roger Hughes and former president Wendy Libby for giving me a chance to be a part of this university and this special community and be a part of starting the Stetson football program from the ground up. I can’t wait to have an opportunity to meet with the players so I can share with them the vision I have for how we are going to be successful on and off the field. We are going to continue to be a program the DeLand community can be proud of.”
Queally, who led the search for a new Stetson football coach, said it was apparent that Young was the right coach for the job.
“I am thrilled for Brian Young to be coming back to campus,” Queally said. “He is the right coach at the right time to lead our football program. It became apparent throughout the search how much Brian was, and is, admired by the current team, former student athletes and members of the Stetson community. His name kept emerging as someone who could lead our program with passion and grit. Brian has the proven ability to recruit student-athletes who are able to thrive in Stetson’s challenging academic environment, while also becoming leaders on the football field and in the community.”
Young’s defensive units were known for their attacking style of play, especially in pass defense where the Hatters ranked first or second in the Pioneer Football League (PFL) six times. Stetson was also regularly among the top teams in the PFL in sacks and turnovers forced.
Also during his previous time at Stetson, Young had a direct hand in the development of the Hatters’ four-time All-American Donald Payne, who has gone on to a successful career in the NFL. Payne, who was a three-time Pioneer Football League Defensive Player of the Year, said it was his relationship with Young that helped him become the man he is today.
“When I first came on my visit to Stetson, Coach Young was the one who made a connection with me and with my mom,” Payne said. “I lost my father when I was just 13, and he became a father figure for me in addition to being my coach. He was tough on me, but he was always fair. I know from experience that parents can feel good about leaving their sons with him because he is going to take care of them, both on and off the field.
“I am so proud of him because I know all of the work and time he has put in during his career to get to this point. Without him, I don’t know that I would have had the kind of career that I had during my time at Stetson, or even if I would have stayed at Stetson. When I made it to the NFL, he made it with me and I am just so happy for him.”
In addition to his defensive responsibilities at Stetson as coordinator and defensive backs coach, Young also worked with the Hatters’ special teams and served as the staff liaison to pro scouts and to post-season all-star games.
Young attended Georgia Southern where he played defensive back and earned a B.S. in parks and recreation administration in 1997.
Young first arrived at Stetson from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., where he served as defensive backs coach for two seasons. Young has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a coach at multiple levels, including time in the NFL when he worked with the Buffalo Bills as a training camp assistant.
His career has primarily been focused on the collegiate ranks. He spent five seasons on the coaching staff at NCAA Division III Mississippi College, starting as secondary coach and special teams coordinator before adding the titles of recruiting coordinator and, finally, defensive coordinator.
His coaching career started with the Georgia Force of the Arena Football League and includes a tenure at Savannah High School where he served as a assistant with the football and basketball programs.
Prior to his coaching career, Young spent the 2000 and 2001 seasons playing arena football, first for the Bismarck (N.D.) Blaze and then for the Duluth (Minn.) Lumberjacks.