Long-serving Saracen Kelly Brown has left the club to take up a coaching position at Glasgow Warriors. The move will end a 10-year association with Saracens following the Scot’s transition into coaching upon his retirement from playing.
Brown joined Sarries from Glasgow in 2010, making over 150 appearances for the Men in Black in seven years. He made an enormous contribution in that period, helping the club win their first-ever Premiership and European titles, as well as two further domestic successes and one Champions Cup, before taking up a coaching role in the Saracens Academy in 2017.
Part of a coaching team that oversaw Saracens Storm’s 2018/19 Premiership Rugby Shield triumph, Brown has aided the progression of a number of young forwards during his time in the Academy. Brown returns to Glasgow Warriors, taking up the position of Assistant Coach a decade after departing the club.
The move sees the 38-year-old join Danny Wilson’s coaching team with immediate effect for the 2020/21 season and ahead of the upcoming double-header against Edinburgh at Murrayfield later this month. Alongside this appointment, it has been confirmed that tighthead prop and Assistant Coach Petrus du Plessis departed the club at the end of July, having accepted another coaching role, and that John Dalziel will join Gregor Townsend’s backroom staff as Forwards Coach in the Scotland national setup after August’s games
Brown said: “I’ve loved every minute of the past 10 years at Saracens and I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity gave me to begin my coaching career.
“The club, the people, the fans will always hold a special place in my heart and I would like to thank everyone who has played a part in the journey.”
“When Danny [Wilson] called, the role ticked so many boxes,” Brown told glasgowwarriors.org.
“It’s a club I’ve got a lot of love for, so I was delighted to accept the offer. I’ve had a fantastic 10 years at Saracens, and I’ve learnt so much on and off the pitch, and the chance to take up a senior role like this with Glasgow was too good to turn down.
“You take a lot of lessons from your playing career into coaching. I’ve been fortunate enough to have some unbelievable coaches over the years, so you take as many lessons as you can and try to influence your own coaching style.
“There’s a good mix of senior players and younger guys, which is really exciting for me. Seeing where we can take those younger players and take the club to in future is something I’m really looking forward to.
“I’ve coached a number of the boys with Scotland over the last few years, so I know there are some really talented players in the mix. I also know what makes a really successful environment from my time at Saracens, and I’m excited to see where we can go as a club.”
Saracens Academy Manager Mike Hynard said: “Kelly has worked hard to develop his coaching over the last four years. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Kelly and have been impressed with his willingness to learn and by his hunger to be the best coach he can be.
“He has had a real impact on the development of some of our most exciting talent in the Senior Academy that are on the verge of breaking into the senior squad. Players like Harvey Beaton, Cameron Boon, Sean Reffell, Andy Christie, Kapeli Pifeleti and Joel Kpoku have all benefitted from Kelly’s knowledge over the last four years.
“I want to thank Kelly for all his hard work and wish him, Emily and his two girls the very best of luck for their next chapter with Glasgow Warriors.”
Saracens' Director of Rugby Mark McCall added: “Kelly has been a fantastic ambassador for Saracens over the past 10 years, as a player and a coach.
“He has made a huge contribution in developing the young talent we have at the club and sets a great example with his passion for the job and his decency as a human being.
“Kelly has got a great opportunity to be part of the senior coaching group at Glasgow Warriors and we wish him and his family all the best with his move back to Scotland.”
Glasgow Warriors Head Coach Danny Wilson welcomed the appointment, saying: “We’re delighted to welcome a coach of Kelly’s quality as we continue to build towards our return to rugby.
“He’s packed a lot into the three years since he hung up his boots, which shows just how highly regarded he is as a coach. He was excellent when I had the chance to work with him as part of the Scotland setup, and I know he’ll bring a lot to the table.
“He not only possesses the experience and expertise through his playing career, but he’s also very good at communicating what he wants with the players.
“As well as a great coach, he’s also a great person to work with and will be an excellent addition to life at Scotstoun as we move forward.
“John’s great work with the Warriors has certainly helped earn him this great opportunity.
“Even in the short time we’ve worked together, John’s attention to detail and work ethic around the contact area has been clear for all to see and he has all the attributes to succeed on the international stage.
“It’s a role in which I know he’ll thrive and succeed, and we wish him all the very best for the new challenge.”