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UMass football preparing for spring game, upcoming season

When Martin arrived at the Champions Center Tuesday morning for his introductory press conference, he was greeted by a cohort of winning colleagues.
Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 4:36 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 29, 2022 at 7:29 PM EDT
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AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Frank Martin was formally introduced as the new UMass Amherst men’s basketball head coach on Tuesday, but he’s not the only new face tasked with restoring success to UMass athletics.

Today marked the start of spring practice for UMass football, but head coach Don Brown wasn’t around for his usual media availability. Instead, he was at Martin’s introductory press conference. That’s where we caught up with him to talk about the bond these coaches have and the state of UMass football.

“It’s a great environment to go to work and every day, you feel like you have a chance for success and you feel good about the product you’re selling to the players,” Brown said.

When Martin arrived at the Champions Center Tuesday morning for his introductory press conference, he was greeted by a cohort of winning colleagues.

“When I started paying attention to the successes of the people that [UMass Athletic Director] Ryan [Bamford] has hired, I said how the heck do I not jump in and take advantage of this opportunity?” Martin said.

Among those hires are 2021 national champion men’s hockey coach Greg Carvel, Atlantic 10 champion women’s basketball coach Tory Verdi, and Brown, who was hired by UMass in November for his second stint as the head football coach.

“The most important thing is the respect that I have for those guys. Ryan’s done a great job of putting coaches together,” Martin added.

The Minutemen took the field for their first spring practice of 2022 on Tuesday and Brown told Western Mass News he liked what he saw from his team, including the cohesion in the locker room.

“That has not been an issue. They come in, they bought right in, they’re working their tails off,” Brown explained.

The man known as ‘Dr. Blitz’ served as the defensive coordinator in 1998 when UMass won the Division I-AA national championship and as head coach, he delivered the winningest stretch in program history.

“I had a five-year run that was pretty special, so the bottom line is I don’t know anything but winning here,” Brown noted.

With the team coming off a 1-11 season and looking for their first winning campaign since 2010, Brown is focused on improving each and every day.

“Obviously, we got a lot of work to do, but we’re not worried about three years from now, two years from now. We’re worried about getting better today or tomorrow,” Brown said.

The UMass spring game is set for Saturday, April 30 at McGuirk Alumni Stadium and the season opener at Tulane is less than six months away.