Secondary coach David Brown joined the Fresno State staff one month ago, leaving his head coaching position at Missouri S&T to replace Tim McDonald and handle the safeties for the Bulldogs.
Brown was a head coach for three seasons, amassing a 19-14 record with the Miners, including going 10-1 last year, good enough for a No. 24 national rank.
Now Brown will do his best to continue the success Valley legend McDonald had coaching the safeties in 2012.
"I am just a football coach, so I come in and coach the safeties," Brown said after a recent spring practice. "I am not really worried about replacing anybody, I am just trying to come in and do the best job I can."
Joining Tim DeRuyter's staff, where Brown has more head coaching experience than his boss, has been fast paced but also smooth.
"The transition has been good," Brown said. "Even coming in as a small school head coach I was coaching the DBs and running the defense, so it's not like I came from a CEO role back to being a position coach.
"The good thing is I get to focus on one position. The hardest thing is learning the new language. Schematically I have a lot of familiarity from a background, but learning the new language is always the biggest thing getting into a new scheme."
The Los Angeles native went to Westchester High School and played at Cal Poly. But what brought him back to California was a connection he made in Ohio.
"In coaching it is always who you know and who knows you," Brown said. "I was lucky enough to work with Pete Germano at Ohio University and when a position opened up, he let me know about it.
"I am a California native, born and raised in Los Angeles so an opportunity to come back and be close to family means happy wife, happy life. My wife is from Southern California as well."
Just days after Brown was hired he was out on the practice field coaching spring football. Learning on the fly, Brown has been pleased with entire situation.
"I have a really good group to work with," he said. "Coach Jordan Peterson is a really good football coach as far as being able to share the secondary on the coaching side of it. Playing wise we have a lot of guys coming back, tempo has been great and guys have been responsive."
The biggest challenge for Brown on the field will be replacing All-American Phillip Thomas.
"I saw a lot of film on Phillip Thomas and obviously every year you have to replace somebody. He is a really good football player who will play on Sunday's.
"But at the same time, no matter who is there the next year, it is a totally different team. So this team in 2013 didn't win 9 games, we are starting from scratch. Everybody is kind of replacing themselves. Even Derron Smith is trying to replace himself from last year, trying to improve and get better."
As far as replacing Thomas, a couple of great candidates have stood out to Brown.
"There is really good competition with Rodney Matthews, the transfer coming in and learning thing pretty quickly, he has made a ton of progress in a short period of time, and Charles Washington, who is getting better and better every day."
Stay tuned to FSBulldogs.com for more updates on 2013 Fresno State spring football. You can follow us on Twitter at @FresnoDogs.