Profiles In Terpage – A Countdown To The Football Season: Tom Brattan


A recurring series where we will profile every player and coach on Maryland’s roster, counting down to kick-off against Miami. Thanks to OBNUG for the idea.

Today we profile one of two assistant coaches Randy Edsall decided to retain.

Tom Brattan, Offensive Line Coach


Date of Birth: 10/14/1950

Hometown: Newark, De.

College: Delaware ’72

How’d He Get To College Park?

Brattan played football at hometown school Delaware, and became a graduate student on the coaching staff there upon graduation. After one year there, he spent three years as the offensive line coach at Highland Springs High School in Virginia, and then bounced around as the head coach at McKean (Del.), Lloyd C. Bird (Va.), and Highland Springs, the last stop for four years. Just seven years before he coached McKean, the school in Delaware produced one of the greatest college linemen of all time – Terp great Randy White.

Brattan got his first collegiate coaching job at William & Mary, and ended up staying with the Tribe for a very long time. After spending 1983 as an assistant coach in their backfield, he was the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach there from 1984 to 1991. During his time there, William & Mary made the playoffs three times, finishing with two top-ten rankings and two top-ten offenses (including the number one attack in 1990).

More after the jump.

Brattan then spent seven years at Northwestern as an offensine line coach, and was a part of the program’s major turnaround. After major struggles in his first few years in the program, in 1995 the Wildcats won the Big Ten championship for the first time in 47 years, finishing the year ranked seventh in the nation. Brattan’s line allowed eight sacks all year. They would win the Big Ten title again the following season.

After two successful years with Stanford, Brattan was hired by Maryland in 2001. Over the past ten years, he’s had quite a bit of success with the Terps, coaching 13 all-conference players.

Brattan has also been a force in the recruiting game, bringing in Kerry Boykins, Justin Gilbert, Dexter McDougle, and D.J. Adams, not to mention the Fab Five offensive linemen coming in this year.


Tom “Rhymes With Latin” Bratton. That’s how UMTerps notes how to pronounce his name.

Career Highlight:

That wonder season with Northwestern.

Career Lowlight:

The 2009 O-Line.

Arbitrary Top Five List:

Big Ten Champions, 1995-99:

1. Northwestern
2. Northwestern
3. Michigan
4. Michigan
5. Wisconsin

Dream Season:

The offensive line stays healthy, leading the tandem of Davin Meggett and D.J. Adams to over 1,500 yards combined and allowing less than ten sacks.

Nightmare Season:

Injuries abound, and the right guard position has no solution.

2011 prospectus:

Tom Brattan has one of the better offensive line units in his career as a Maryland coach this season. Justin Gilbert and Max Garcia are incredibly talented at left tackle, Andrew Gonnella brings a ton of experience to the table at left guard, Bennett Fulper had a great season last year at center, and R.J. Dill filled in admirably for Gilbert last year and heads back to his native right tackle. The only question mark remains at right guard, where Josh Cary is currently pencilled in as the starter over former stud recruit Pete White.

In terms of the other four positions on the line, the only thing that can legitimately hold them back is injuries. Gilbert, Gonnella, Fulper and Dill have all proven themselves on the ACC level, and although there are some talented backups behind him, there’s a significant drop-off for all but Gilbert. With right guard, many are surprised by the selection of Cary, who was a star during spring practice. You got to keep in mind that Brattan has been doing this for a very long time, with very good results at every level of the college game.

The best part about this year’s line? There’s only one senior. After Gonnella graduates, the line next year will probably be Gilbert-White-Fulper-Cary-Dill, unless they move Garcia over to guard. After that, probably Garcia-White-Conaboy-Cary-DeSouza. Maryland has a lot of talented options on the offensive line – both today and for the future. Most of that can be attributed to Tom Brattan, who not only recruited most of these guys to College Park, but has turned them into very quality linemen.

Up Next:

Our next profile will be on a group of walk-ons and transfers.