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USF chooses former coach’s husband to lead women’s soccer

Brown will be the third head coach in program history. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

USF didn’t have to look far for its next women’s soccer coach. 

Associate head coach Chris Brown was named the third head coach in program history on Tuesday. The announcement was made by Athletics Vice President Michael Kelly.

He will replace his wife, Denise Schilte-Brown, who held the head coaching position for 17 seasons from 2007 to 2023. She left the program to coach Tampa Bay Sun FC, a professional team that will compete in the USL Super League this year. 

Related: OPINION: Brown for Brown: A current assistant coach should take over women’s soccer 

He also played soccer professionally for 11 seasons from 1994-2004. This included a brief stint with the Major League Soccer team, the Dallas Burn, during the 1998 season.

Brown’s collegiate coaching career began as an assistant with the University of Tampa men’s soccer team in 1997. 

Brown came to USF from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he worked from 2000-2006. For the last six years of his tenure with the Rams, he was co-head coach alongside his wife. The pair won Coastal Athletic Association, formerly named the Colonial Athletic Association, Co-Coach-of-the-Year honors in 2001. 

Brown has been the Bulls’ associate head coach since 2007. In the last 17 seasons, USF has had a record of 184-97-43 and made eight NCAA tournament appearances. 

Brown has coaching experience on the international level. He worked with the Guyana Football Federation from 2009-2014.

“USF and the Tampa Bay community have been my home since 2007,” Brown said in a written statement. “I am very excited for the opportunity to lead the USF women’s soccer program and build on the tremendous tradition and high-level success our student-athletes have established.” 

Brown said he believes that USF has the support from the administration to continue the program’s winning ways.

Related: ‘Relationships above winning’: Schilte-Brown clinches division title in her final regular season game at USF

“I would especially like to thank my family and particularly my wife, Denise, who through a great partnership the last 17 years put USF women’s soccer on the map as a conference champion and national power,” Brown said.