In 2005, Mack Brown led the University of Texas Longhorns to a national football championship. But following less-than-stellar seasons in recent years, the Mack Brown era is coming to a rocky end.
On Saturday, Brown announced he’s stepping down as head coach of the Longhorns football team after the Alamo Bowl on December 30 against the University of Oregon. Brown’s resignation follows days of heightened speculation about his fate at Texas.
“I sincerely want it to get back to the top,” Brown said, “and that’s why I am stepping down after the bowl game.
A news conference about Brown’s imminent departure is set for 1 pm Sunday. Questions certainly will pop up about Brown’s replacement for one of the most coveted football coaching jobs in the country. University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban no longer is in the successor mix, as he just signed a contract extension with the Crimson Tide.
Brown exits UT with one national championship under his belt, along with two Big 12 titles, a national championship appearance in 2009 and a 158-46 record.
However, the football program had slipped far below many Longhorns’ expectations in recent years. From 2001 to 2009, the team had racked up at least 10 wins each season. This season, the team’s record stands at 8-4, with the Longhorns sitting at third place in the Big 12 and losing this year’s league championship to Baylor University. Over the past four seasons, Longhorns have compiled a 30-20 record.
“I sincerely want it to get back to the top,” Brown said, “and that’s why I am stepping down after the bowl game. I hope with some new energy, we can get this thing rolling again.”
Brown’s UT contract, scheduled to expire in 2020, pays $5.4 million a year.
Sixteen years ago, DeLoss Dodds, who recently stepped down as men’s athletics director after 32 years at UT, brought Brown to the Forty Acres to pull together a shaky football program.
“We built a strong football family, reached great heights and accomplished a lot, and for that, I thank everyone. It's been a wonderful ride. Now, the program is again being pulled in different directions, and I think the time is right for a change,” Brown said.
Steve Patterson, the new men’s athletics director at UT, praised Brown.
“He’s been a tremendous coach, mentor, leader and ambassador for our university and our student-athletes. He is truly a college football legend,” Patterson said in a statement. “I’ve had a number of talks with him recently, and he has always said he wanted what was best for the University of Texas. I know this decision weighed heavily on him, and today he told us he’s ready to move forward.”
UT President Bill Powers — whose own tenure at the university has been under fire lately — said Brown’s resignation is “difficult” for the school.
“Mack Brown is one of the best football coaches in the country, a tremendous representative of our university, and, most important, a great friend,” Powers said in a statement. “He has produced championship teams with tremendous student-athletes and has always done so with the utmost class and integrity. Mack is just the best, and he will be missed.”