North Carolina A&T football is less than two months away from its first season as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association. It will start the season with a first-time head coach in Vincent Brown Sr.
The Aggies are looking to get started off on the right foot. Brown recently interviewed with Karlie Smith of the CAA to talk about the conference switch and what it will take to compete in the highly-respected league.
“It starts with every detail. How we dress, how we eat, how we train, how we meet, how we practice. Everything is about the details and operating at a high level,” the former Mississippi Valley State star and NFL linebacker said. “I think our kids and our administration have been very supportive in helping us try to establish the culture of excellence that we know we’re going to need to compete for A) a CAA championship, and then to be able to compete on a national level.”
North Carolina A&T is actually Brown’s third stint as a CAA coach. His first two came as an assistant coach under Mike London. The first was at Richmond in the mid-2000s as he helped lead the program to a national title. More recently, he ran London’s defense at William & Mary as it won a share of the league title. So he knows how much of a challenge his team is up against.
“When you combine the talent and the coaching acumen, top to bottom, it is — without a question in my mind — the most competitive conference — top to bottom — in the country at the FCS level.”
After winning four MEAC titles in five seasons, A&T has spent the past two seasons in the Big South, falling just short of the league title last season under Sam Washington. Washington and A&T parted ways in December, and Brown was named head coach in January.
“From my perspective, it’s this thing called alignment. And in the point in my career was and where I am currently, it really would take the right opportunity, the right university, the right resources, the right support system in place,” Brown said of what attracted him to the A&T job. “Being able to come into the CAA with all the things that A&T brings as a university, I just thought not a better opportunity could have presented itself.”
Now that Brown has grabbed his first head coaching job, he knows exactly what he wants his program to look like.
“I want our kids to have a great experience headed into the CAA. We want to be ultra-competitive, but I want our kids to have a fantastic experience and I want our fans to know we’re building this thing the right way,” he said.