Baylor Press Release
By: Taylor Bryan
WACO, Texas – With 10 years coaching in the NFL and 28 years of coaching experience overall, Brian Stewart has joined the Baylor Football staff as cornerbacks coach, head coach Dave Aranda announced Sunday.
“Brian is one of the top defensive back coaches in the country,” Aranda said. “He is a great teacher of fundamentals and technique. He connects with his players and his players play hard for him. When I was coming up in coaching, I learned a lot from Coach Stewart and a lot of my vision for defensive back play originated from him. I’m really happy to have him a part of our staff. He is a Christian man, a family man, and will be a great fit at Baylor.”
Stewart most recently coached the defensive backs with the Detroit Lions from 2018-19. Under his leadership, Darius Slay reached consecutive Pro Bowls and had at least two interceptions in each season while totaling 30 passes defensed overall. Slay was the first Lions corner in 40 years to reach three straight Pro Bowls.
Additionally, Lions DB Quandre Diggs put together a strong 2018 season in Stewart’s first season leading Detroit’s secondary. Diggs was the only DB in the NFL to finish the 2018 season with at least 75 tackles, three interceptions, three tackles for loss and one pick-six.
“I’m very excited for this opportunity,” Stewart said. “First off, Coach Aranda is a super human being. He abides by the same three things that I abide by faith, family and football. I think that is very important in this day and age. Secondly, It’s great to be back in Texas. A lot of states care about football, but no state cares as much as Texas.
“This is awesome opportunity. I have had a relationship with for quite a while with both Coach Aranda and Coach Roberts. Having a chance to talk football with them over the years has been great. Now getting a chance to apply those things daily is very exciting.”
Stewart joined the Lions coaching staff in 2018 with an extensive background on the defensive side of the football, primarily in the secondary. Before returning to the NFL, Stewart spent eight consecutive years in the collegiate ranks (2010-17). Prior to Detroit, he most recently served as the defensive coordinator and interim head coach at Rice University in 2017.
Prior to Rice, Stewart coached at the University of Nebraska for two seasons (2015-16), working with the team’s defensive backs. He joined the Cornhuskers staff after spending three seasons at the University of Maryland (2012-14) where he served as the team’s defensive coordinator. In his three seasons at Maryland, Stewart’s defense tallied more than 30 sacks in two separate seasons, along with helping lead the Terrapins to a pair of bowl appearances. In Stewart’s first year at Maryland in 2012, his defense finished in the top three in the ACC in total defense (21st nationally), rushing defense and pass defense.
After working as a defensive assistant for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009, Stewart returned to the college ranks for the first time in eight years, after being named defensive coordinator at the University of Houston. During his tenure (2010-11), the Cougars finished with a 13-1 record and No. 14 ranking in 2011. Additionally, Houston ranked in the top 15 nationally in red zone scoring, interceptions, tackles for loss, takeaways and opponent completion percentage in 2011. In his second season with the Cougars, Stewart’s secondary featured cornerback, DJ Hayden, after Hayden joined the Cougars as a junior college transfer. In Hayden’s first season under Stewart, he was named Conference USA Defensive Newcomer of the Year before eventually being the 12th overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Prior to Houston, Stewart spent eight years in the NFL, including a two-year stint (2007-08) as the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator. During his time in Dallas, Stewart’s defense finished in the top 10 in fewest yards allowed in each of his two seasons, respectively, marked by a 13-3 record and NFC East divisional title in 2007. Stewart’s 2007 defense was highlighted by an NFL-best five defensive players named to the Pro Bowl that season. In 10 NFL seasons, Stewart has helped 16 total players earn Pro Bowl appearances.
Stewart also served as the defensive backs coach with the San Diego Chargers (2004-06). He earned his start as an NFL coach when he served on the Houston Texans coaching staff in the team’s first two seasons as an expansion club (2002-03). He began his coaching career at Cal Poly where he coached wide receivers and running backs from 1992-93. His background as a collegiate coach also includes stints at Missouri (1999-2000), San Jose State (1997-98), Syracuse (2001) and Northern Arizona (1994-95).
A California native, Stewart played defensive back collegiately at Santa Monica City College and Northern Arizona.
Stewart graduated from Northern Arizona in 1995 with a degree in criminal justice. He and his wife, Kimberly, have three daughters, Leila, Mya and Zara.