Veteran Coach Brings Over 30 Years of Experience to Illinois
Illinois football training camp practices at Camp Rantoul in Rantoul, IL, - Aug. 11, 2014 (Derek Neal/Illinois Athletics)
Day one of Illinois Football Training Camp - Aug. 4, 2014, at Memorial Stadium (Photos by Derek Neal/Illinois Athletics)
Tom Brattan is in his first year as the offensive line coach at Illinois after being hired in July 2014. He spent the last 13 seasons at Maryland, where he helped the Terrapins to eight bowl games. A 37-year coaching veteran, including 31 at the collegiate level, Brattan has been a part of record-setting offenses throughout his career.
In his 13 years with the Terps, Brattan produced five players who earned six All-America honors. His linemen also garnered 17 All-ACC laurels, including seven first-team accolades. He helped guide Maryland to eight bowl games and three consecutive 10-win seasons from 2001-03. He also helped the Terps break the school's single-season scoring record in 2001 and the single-season total offense record in 2003.
Brattan also has prepared a number of players for the next level with 18 former players reaching the NFL, including Bruce Campbell, a fourth-round choice of Oakland in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Brattan mentored four All-Americans in his first three seasons at Maryland, as Melvin Fowler (2001), Matt Crawford (2002), Todd Wike (2002) and C.J. Brooks (2003) all earned third-team honors. In 2007, Andrew Crummey notched second-team All-America accolades from Sporting News & third-team honors from Associated Press. And in 2005, Brattan mentored Jared Gaither to third-team Freshman All-America honors.
He produced three All-ACC honorees in 2008, including first-team pick Edwin Williams. While Crummey earned second-team All-America honors in 2007 and All-ACC laurels in 2006 and 2007. Brooks was a first-team All-ACC honoree in 2003, while Crawford and Wike were All-ACC first teamers in 2002. Wike and Fowler earned first-team All-ACC honors in 2001.
Brattan's offensive line opened holes for four of the top eight running backs in Maryland history and three of the top rushing seasons ever in College Park. Lance Ball piled up 2,487 yards from 2004-07, Bruce Perry gained 2,424 yards from 1999-2003, Davin Meggett posted 2,411 yards from 2008-11 and Da'Rel Scott gained 2,401 yards from 2007-10. In addition, Perry's 2001 season (1,242 yards), Chris Downs' 1,154-yard campaign in 2002, and Scott's 1,133 yards in 2008 account for three of the eight 1,000-yard seasons in Maryland history.
Prior to coming to Maryland, Brattan spent two years (1999-00) at Stanford, where he served as the Cardinal's line coach in charge of centers and guards. Stanford went 8-4 in 1999 en route to a Rose Bowl bid. The 1999 Stanford offense scored at least 31 points in all but three games and hit the 50-point plateau three times. That year, Brattan's offensive line allowed just 15 sacks in 385 passing attempts (one sack for every 27 attempts).
Brattan took his first full-time job at the collegiate level at William & Mary in 1983 as an offensive backfield coach. After just one season, he was promoted to offensive coordinator and served the remainder of his tenure (1984-91) in that capacity. He also worked with the offensive line at William & Mary. In that time, the Tribe advanced to the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs on three occasions. From 1986 to 1990, William & Mary earned national rankings in three seasons (No. 9 in 1986; No. 13 in 1989; No. 7 in 1990).
The success was largely a product of Brattan's offensive design as his unit ranked in the top 20 in offense in 1985 and 1986, while it had the top-rated attack in Division I-AA for the 1990 season and the sixth-best in `91.
Brattan took his success at the I-AA level to his next job, Northwestern, where he resided from 1992-98 as offensive line coach. In Brattan's first three years at the school, the Wildcats continued to struggle, pushing their streak of seasons without a winning mark to 23.
Then in 1995, the Wildcats were in the national spotlight as they came seemingly out of nowhere to win the Big Ten championship for the first time in 47 years and advance to the Rose Bowl where they ultimately fell to USC. They finished the year ranked No. 7 in the nation with a 10-2 mark. Brattan's line allowed just eight sacks all year while helping propel Darnell Autry to a new school rushing record. Northwestern finished fifth nationally in rushing.
The Wildcats posted a combined 15-1 league record in 1995 and 1996, taking the Big Ten crown both years after having won just five league games in the previous three years. In 1996, they earned a bid to play Tennessee in the Citrus Bowl.
Brattan got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Delaware, in 1972. After one year in Newark, he took his first full-time coaching post at Highland Springs (Va.) High School as an offensive line coach. After three years (1973-75) at Highland Springs, he moved back to his home state of Delaware and took his first head coaching job at McKean High School in 1977. He spent one year at McKean - the same high school that helped produce Maryland legend Randy White - before moving back to Virginia and taking over as the head coach at Lloyd C. Bird High School. After serving at Bird in 1978, he returned to Highland Springs -- this time as a head coach -- for his final four years (1979-82) at the prep level.
A native of Newark, Del., Brattan is a 1972 graduate of his hometown school where he earned his bachelor's degree in history and later earned his master's degree in education in 1977. He was a member of the Blue Hen football team, lettering in 1971. He and his wife, Anne, have three daughters, Kristen, Kate and Megan.
Updated July 2014