Anthony Richardson and football mentor Vernell Brown

College Mentor to Join Anthony Richardson in NFL

It’s not often that a clear-cut and detailed explanation of why we coach emerges in mainstream media. The NFL Draft is just about three weeks away, and while there are a number of young athletes who are about to step into the limelight, some are facing greater pressure than others. University of Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson is one of—if not the best athlete in this year’s draft class, and he has some lofty expectations awaiting him at the next level. With his entire world changing—as the entire world comes to know his name—Richardson is lucky to have a great coach in his corner.

The impact a mentor had on Anthony Richardson goes far beyond football

Senior Director of Player Development for Florida football, Vernell Brown, assumed the role of mentor for Anthony Richardson in 2021. Now, as the star quarterback prepares for what lies ahead, Brown has decided—upon Richardson’s request—to move on from the university with him, and continue forward as his mentor, manager, and Chief of Staff.

As a Gators football alumni (2001-2005), Vernell Brown had spent the past five years employed by the university, after previously working for a number of years as the director of operations and football for The Villages Youth Sports Club. Brown has built his entire career around giving back to, and helping develop football players in home state of Florida. Now he has landed what may be his greatest opportunity—helping one of his athlete’s achieve the highest ranks in their sport.

The story of Richardson and Brown’s relationship is one that should inspire all coaches to put their best foot forward in building a personal connection with their athletes. The role of a coach in an athlete’s life is so much bigger than the sport they are playing or the season that lies ahead. Everyone has personal goals and vision, and they often stand the best chance of being achieved when they are chased together.


college coaches: football

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