The move sees the 38-year-old end a 10-year association with Saracens – where he won three Premiership titles and the Champions Cup on two occasions – to return north of the Border and join Danny Wilson’s coaching team with immediate effect for the conclusion of the truncated 2020/21 season.
Brown’s appointment comes as it was also confirmed that John Dalziel will depart Glasgow to take on the role of Forwards Coach with the Scotland national team.
The former Melrose and London Scottish coach, who also had spells with Scotland U20 and the national 7s team, spent a year at Scotstoun but will take up his role with Gregor Townsend’s backroom staff.
“It’s an honour to be asked to join the Scotland coaching team under Gregor,” Dalziel said.
“I hope to add value to what is already an experienced coaching group and I am looking forward to working with such an exciting and talented squad of players, many of whom I have worked with during my time with the U20, 7s and Glasgow Warriors set-ups.
“I hope to be able to contribute to any future success we have.”
Coaching career so far…
Since hanging up his boots in 2017, Brown has worked with the Saracens Academy, helping to nurture the next generation of talent coming through the ranks of one of English rugby’s most prolific development centres.
His coaching career to date has also seen him work with Canada’s senior men’s squad as a defence coach for their 2017 summer tests and enjoy two separate stints working under Gregor Townsend as part of the Scotland squad, including in the lead-up to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Brown will focus on the contact area and will have time in August to work with John Dalziel ahead of his move to the national team.
“When Danny [Wilson] called, the role ticked so many boxes,” the former Scotland back-row said.
“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.”
‘I know he’ll bring a lot to the table’
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.”
Reflecting on a decade of success at Saracens
Brown also reflected on his memorable decade at Saracens, helping the club to become a giant of the English and European game since he arrived from Glasgow.
He said he had “loved every minute of the past 10 years” and added he would be “forever grateful” to the club for allowing him to begin his 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.”
Saracens Director of Rugby, Mark McCall, also paid tribute to the departing Brown.
“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.”
Continuing to develop promising Scottish coaches
Scottish Rugby Chief Executive, Mark Dodson, said: “I am delighted we can continue the progression of two talented Scottish coaches through our coaching pathway.
“John has impressed with each role he has taken on with the U20s, Scotland 7s, Glasgow Warriors and now he has an opportunity to add his expertise into the national team coaching group, led by Gregor Townsend.
“This has enabled us to bring Kelly Brown back to Scotland to work with Danny Wilson at Glasgow Warriors and again deepen the pool of Scottish coaches working at the top levels of the game.
“I know both John and Kelly will be great additions to our wider coaching group and we wish them well in their respective new roles.”
“Main photo credit”