top of page

Dre Brown Returns to Illinois: A Homecoming Story

Dre Brown Fighting Illini Touchdown
© Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Former Illinois running back Dre Brown is embarking on a new chapter in his football journey, returning to his alma mater with a mission to shape the future of the Fighting Illini. Appointed as the Director of Player Personnel, Brown’s homecoming signifies a convergence of his illustrious playing career, academic achievements, and expertise in recruiting, promising an exciting era for Illinois football.

In his latest role, Brown will leverage his diverse background, which includes stints at Tennessee and Notre Dame, to bolster Illinois’ recruiting efforts and elevate the program’s competitive edge. With a track record of securing top talent and a deep-rooted connection to the university, Brown’s appointment signals a strategic move by head coach Bret Bielema to fortify the team’s foundation and propel it toward success in the fiercely competitive landscape of college football.

Bielema and Brown comments on the Homecoming

“I have been impressed with Dre’s career since beginning to follow him when I first arrived in Illinois,” said Bielema. “His experiences in recruiting at Notre Dame and Tennessee, as well as his background as a player here at Illinois, will be a great asset to our program. It is exciting to bring a person of his caliber back to the Illini famILLy.”

Brown, who most recently served as the director of recruiting at Notre Dame, expressed his enthusiasm for rejoining the Illini family. “My wife Lindsay and I are beyond excited to join the famILLy and return home,” said Brown. “As a proud alumni, the University of Illinois is a special place and has provided me with more opportunities than I could have ever imagined. I can’t wait to work with Coach Bielema and Pat Embleton to bring top-tier talent to this program. Let’s get to work. I-L-L!”

Illini Playing Career and Beyond

Brown’s journey from player to director of player personnel is a testament to his dedication and passion for the game. After his playing career at Illinois, where he rushed for 902 yards and seven touchdowns, Brown pursued further education at the Gies College of Business before delving into college football administration.

His professional journey took him to Tennessee, where he started as a football recruiting coordinator before moving on to Notre Dame. At Notre Dame, Brown’s talent and expertise in recruiting played a pivotal role in the team’s success. In each of the last three seasons, he contributed to landing top-12 recruiting classes, with the Irish securing the No. 9 class in the nation last year, boasting one five-star recruit and 10 four-star recruits.

Brown’s impact extends beyond the recruiting trail. As a player, he left his mark on the field, showcasing his versatility as a rusher and kick returner. His senior year was particularly memorable, with standout performances in crucial games against formidable opponents like No. 6 Wisconsin and Purdue.

Off the field, Brown’s commitment to academics is commendable. He earned a bachelor’s degree in recreation, sport, and tourism from the University of Illinois in 2018, followed by a master’s degree in business, management, marketing, and related support services from the Gies College of Business in 2021.

Dre Brown -The Next Chapter

Now, as he returns to his alma mater, Brown brings a wealth of experience, a deep understanding of the game, and a passion for nurturing talent. His homecoming story serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes and administrators alike, illustrating the power of perseverance and the enduring bond between a player and their alma mater.


Michigan Football
Blue Screen
bottom of page