Just a few weeks ago, rumors were that head coach Mack Brown was going to step down or even be fired from his position. After two sub-par seasons, it wouldn’t have been a complete surprise. Apparently, just the opposite is true. According to the Austin American-Statesman, Brown’s contract is expected to be extended through the 2020 season and he will continue to receive an annual raise of $100,000.
Brown makes approximately $5.2 million a season, which puts him ahead of Nick Saban, Bob Stoops and Urban Meyer. Saban, the next highest paid coach, has won two national championships in the past three seasons. Saban currently earns less than $5 million per season. With this new contract extension, Brown will eventually earn $6 million per season.
There is no doubt that Brown has had a positive impact on Texas football over the past 14 seasons, becoming the second-winningest coach in Texas football history. But with that comes Texas-sized expectations. The past two seasons Brown has led the Longhorns to a 13-12 record.
Under the heading of “what have you done for me lately,” a raise of this magnitude does not seem to be in order.
Brown has shown the courage to shake things up. At the end of the 2010 season, he fired longtime offensive coordinator Greg Davis and defensive coordinator Will Muschamp left to become the head coach at Florida. Muschamp was expected to take over for Brown when he retired. These changes resulted in three more wins in 2011. Even with an unsettled quarterback situation, Texas re-established a running offense and ranked first in the Big 12 in total defense.
With one of the top five recruiting classes in the country coming to Texas next year, it seems that things should continue to get better. The operative word is “should.” If next season is another 8-5 season, or worse, what happens then? Four extra years is a long time with Brown turning 61 this year. That also means with the contract extension he will be coaching at Texas until he is 70.
There are not a lot of successful 70 year-old coaches in NCAA Division I football.
Why so many years? Why now? Other colleges are not throwing money at Mack to leave Texas now nor does he want to. Although there are signs of improvement, the turnaround that Texas wants is not guaranteed under Brown. A one or two-year extension would have been much a more reasonable and responsible decision by the Board of Regents.
I credit the Board of Regents for not panicking and striving toward stability. Mack has done a lot for Texas football and the school. And hopefully, the Board of Regents won’t need that $3.5 million buyout clause.
Printed on Thursday, January 26, 2012 as: Brown's extension, rasie is poor decision by Board of Regents