Willie Brown, a pro football Hall of Fame member after 12 years with the Oakland Raiders, was named head coach at Cal State Long Beach today, succeeding the late George Allen.
Brown was an assistant coach with the Long Beach 49ers in 1990 as Allen came out of retirement at the age of 72 to direct the team to a 6-5 record--its first winning season since 1986. Allen died Dec. 31 after suffering a heart attack.
The hiring of Brown was announced by Corey Johnson, the Long Beach athletic director who made the surprise decision last year to hire Allen, a former Rams and Washington Redskins coach, to resurrect the school’s sagging football program.
Brown, 50, coached the defensive backs of the 49ers for Allen in 1990. From 1979 to 1988 he was an assistant coach with the Oakland-Los Angeles Raiders.
A graduate of Grambling, Brown began his pro career with Denver 1963-66 and was with the Raiders in Oakland 1967-78.
He set an NFL mark with at least one interception in 16 consecutive pro seasons, totaling 54 interceptions overall.
He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.