Mack Brown speaks about his decision to retire


Charlie Pearce

Mack Brown speaks to media in December 2013 at Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium about stepping down as the head coach of the Texas football team. Brown will receive the lifetime achievement award at the Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards on Jan. 13, 2016.

Garrett Callahan

When Mack Brown began his tenure in Austin 16 years ago he inherited a divided fan base. Now, after rejuvenating the Longhorns and getting Texas back to national prestige, he cited a similar situation as his reason for stepping down as head coach.

“Darrell Royal told us what you have to do to be the head football coach at Texas,” Brown said. “Since it’s a diverse group that follows this team, you have to pull it all together. It’s like a box of BBs. The BBs are dropped all over the room, what you have to do it get the BB’s back in the box. And we were able to do that…then as of late the BBs have gotten out of the box again.”

A day after the school announced the Alamo Bowl would be his last game as head coach at Texas, Brown spoke to the media Sunday.  

 Brown said he met with University President Bill Powers and new Athletic Director Steve Patterson Friday afternoon to discuss the future of Texas football. After deliberating many options with his wife, Sally, he came to the conclusion the best decision for the university was to step down.

“We had a great conversation,” Brown said. “They expressed their support and they wanted me to stay. But we met again on Saturday and we mutually decided it was best for us to move on.”

Brown’s announcement came at the end of an eventful week. On Tuesday, reports surfaced that Brown was retiring, sending Texas into a frenzy. After Brown and the university denied those reports, many believed the veteran head coach would announce his resignation at the Longhorn banquet Friday night. Instead, Brown made no mention of his future until his official decision came Saturday night.

“I was really back and forth all week,” Brown said. “I sincerely want what’s best for the University of Texas. There are just too many distractions, too many negatives, and the players and assistant coaches shouldn’t have to deal with negatives about me.”

While Brown has struggled in recent years, he set the standards Texas lives up to today. After 16 years in Austin, Brown said it’s pretty simple how he wants to be remembered for his tenure at Texas.                             

“I want to be remembered of bringing some joy back to Texas, getting us back on track,” Brown said. “The second thing is that I did it with integrity and class. I think the third thing is the wonderful young people that have gone through our tutelage.”

Brown said he will have no involvement in the search to find his replacement. He will spend the next two weeks preparing for Oregon and will then become a special assistant to President Powers.

“[Sally and I] will do anything Bill and Steve ask us to do,” Brown said. “I have no interest in being involved in the coaching search cause that’s their choice. But if there is something we can do to help, then we want to help.”

Patterson and Powers, who spoke after Brown, discussed the search for Texas’ new head coach and admitted they have yet to spend much time recruiting. But they did debunk any rumors surrounding Alabama head coach Nick Saban. 

“There has been a lot of malarkey in the press the last few weeks,” Patterson said. “But we haven’t talked to any [coaches]. We’ve really been focused through today on figuring out where we are with Mack.”

 Patterson also said there is no timetable for when Texas will to hire its new head coach. But he did say the sooner would be better.

“I’d like to have a coach by Tuesday at noon if we could, but I don’t think so,” Patterson said. “I think we need to sit down and be clear about what the criteria are and then you sit down and start talking with people and match those up.”