Recognized as one of the outstanding veteran coaches in the country, Assistant Head Coach and Secondary Coach Abbott Burrell begins his 20th season with the Brown coaching staff. Burrell, who now has three Ivy Championship rings, is also heavily involved in Brown’s community relations program.
Burrell has coached back-to-back first team All-Americans in the last two years, with AJ Cruz '13 in 2012 and Emory Polley '14 in 2013.
In 2010, Burrell's defensive secondary ranked number one in the Ivy League in pass efficiency defense behind first team ALl-Ivy AJ Cruz '13 and second team All-Ivy safety Steven Peyton '12. Burrell's strong defensive secondary picked off 15 passes in 2009 and featured three All-Ivy players, Chris Perkins '10, a first team All-Ivy selection, along with David Clement '10 and Cruz, both second team All-Ivy choices.
Burrell, who has coached 18 All-Ivy players at Brown, has done outstanding work with the Brown defensive secondary with his 2005 squad making 13 interceptions. He also coach All-American defensive back Jamie Gasparella ‘06, who made seven interceptions in 2005, and 10 career interceptions, seventh best in Brown football history.
Burrell has coached several positions while at Brown and was promoted to assistant head coach in 2002, while maintaining his duties as the defensive secondary coach. In 2001, his secondary unit led the Ivy League in pass defense, allowing only 191.1 passing yards per game.
Burrell also coached at Brown from 1994-1996, working with the defensive secondary for two years and the outside linebackers for a season. He was an assistant coach at Bethune Cookman College in 1997 with responsibility for the defensive backs.
Burrell earned a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Connecticut in 1990 and was a four-year letterwinner and team captain as a senior. He first came to Brown from Wesleyan University where he coached wide receivers and assisted on special teams from 1992-1993. He also served as an assistant coach at Southern Connecticut State University, working with the defensive backs.
A native of Hamden, CT, Burrell attended Hamden High School. He played professional football for the French Professional Football League while also working as an assistant defensive backs and receivers coach.
He currently resides in Providence, Rhode Island.
All-Ivy Players Coached by Burrell
- 1995 Greg Parker (First Team DB)
- 1998 Alex Pitt (First Team DB)
- 2001 Hunter Young (Second Team DB)
- 1999 Matt Swistak (Second Team DB)
- 2004 Jamie Gasparella (Second Team DB)
- 2005 Jamie Gasparella (First Team DB)
- 2008 Nkosi Still (First Team DB); Chris Perkins (Second Team S)
- 2009 Chris Perkins (First Team S); David Clement (Second Team CB); AJ Cruz (Second Team DB)
- 2010 AJ Cruz (First Team DB); Steven Peyton (Second Team S)
- 2011 AJ Cruz (First Team DB); Steven Peyton (First Team S)
- 2012 AJ Cruz (First Team All-Ivy DB, Ivy Defensive Player of the Year Finalist; First Team All-American); Emory Polley (Second Team, DB)
- 2013 Emory Polley (First Team DB; First Team All-American)