Men’s athletics director DeLoss Dodds confident Mack Brown can turn football program around

Christian Corona

It’s been a dry three seasons for the Texas football program. Three straight losses to Oklahoma, the last two by a combined score of 118-38. No BCS bowl appearances and no conference titles in that time. Good news is in short supply, but the losses (16) are not.

The temperature has been turned up on head coach Mack Brown, but men’s athletics director DeLoss Dodds remains confident Brown is the one who can turn things around for the Longhorns.

“I love stability. I love continuity,” Dodds said in an interview with The Daily Texan. “If you have stability, you have continuity and you’ve got good people. It’s a formula that works. I think we’ve got that. If somebody tells me we need to change, I say, ‘Ok, but who should we hire? [Alabama head coach Nick] Saban? Well, Saban isn’t going to come here.’”

While Brown has taken the fall for the Longhorns’ recent decline, he was also responsible for making Texas one of the country’s top programs during the first 12 years of his tenure. Texas won 128 games from 1998-2009, two conference titles and one national championship with near misses in 2001 and 2009. 

“Mack does it so much better than everyone I’ve ever seen,” Dodds said. “Instant gratification. We want it right now. And if it’s not working, we want to blow it up and get instant gratification. In this kind of world, that’s not necessarily the answer.”

There was once a time where Brown could offer someone a scholarship and, regardless of who else was talking to him, that player would sign with Texas. But, with Texas A&M’s resurgence and the Longhorns’ recent struggles, that’s no longer the case. 

After signing one of the country’s five best recruiting classes six out of seven years, according to, Texas’ 15-member 2013 recruiting class checked in at No. 24.

“He took North Carolina from 0-10 to top 5 in the nation,” Dodds said. “He built a school that hadn’t been winning, got there and they didn’t win, he took them to the top. The only team that ever beat them was Florida State. He left and where did North Carolina go? Back to the bottom again.”

Currently, Brown makes a base salary of $5.2 million with a $100,000 raise every year. His buyout currently stands at $2.75 million. Even if Brown leads the Longhorns to a return to prominence, there is a chance that he won’t be their head coach in 2020, when his current contract expires. He’s spent 40 years coaching, 29 of them as a head coach. Will Muschamp was named his successor five years ago before leaving for Florida. 

But don’t expect Brown to go anywhere anytime soon.

Dodds pointed out that after Tennessee let go of Phillip Fulmer following several mediocre seasons, the Volunteers didn’t recover. They went 23-27 in the last four years under Lane Kiffin and Derek Dooley, who was fired last November. Dodds doesn’t want that to happen at Texas.

“Following Mack will not be easy,” Dodds said. “You’re always thinking what you would do if that happens. That’s what we get paid to do. But if we went looking for somebody, I would look for Mack. That’s who I’d want to hire … He would be who I’d want if I had to start all over again. If there’s another Mack Brown out there, that’s who we’d go after.”

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