After 27-year-old Thomas Brown walked out of the staff meeting room, he felt pretty good about the job interview. So did Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen, who was doing the hiring.

“When we got Thomas here on campus, he handled himself very well, very professionally,” said Andersen, who also noted, “He wants to be here in the worst way, which is very important.

“I want somebody who really wants to be the running backs coach at Wisconsin and wants to be involved with the Badger football family. And he really wants it.

“For me, personally, I’ve got to be able to look at the kids in our program and tell them, ‘This guy is going to take care of you and he’s going to be there for you.”’

Andersen felt like he had his man. But Brown wasn’t sure he had the job.

He was pretty new to all of this. He had one year of coaching at Chattanooga and one at Marshall when he heard “out of the blue” from Wisconsin and “things rolled from there,” he said.

Within a few days, he was on a plane to Madison.

“I had a good feeling coming out of the interview, but you never know until you get that call,” Brown said. “It was kind of suspenseful for a couple of days, sitting and waiting…”