Mack Brown officially stepped down as Texas’ head coach Saturday evening. While his high-standard program has struggled in recent years, there is no question that Brown's tenure featured many peaks. Here are five great moments during Brown’s 16 years at Texas.
2005 National Championship Season
While there were many great moments during Brown’s career, his greatest season is clear. Texas entered the 2005 contest ranked No. 2 nationally, and it stayed there the entire season. Texas’ undefeated season led them to the Big 12 championship and a much-anticipated national title match-up between the Longhorns and USC. Led by Vince Young, Brown’s squad won 41-38 after last-minute Young heroics for Texas’ first national championship since 1970.
2005 Rose Bowl Championship
Brown’s 2004 season concluded with a controversial trip to Pasadena, Calif., and the Rose Bowl. Critics believed Texas didn’t belong in the Rose Bowl that year, but the controversy ended when the Longhorns beat Michigan 38-37, in thrilling fashion. Down by 10 entering the fourth quarter, Texas scored 17 points in the final 15 minutes to win the game on a 37-yard field goal for the Longhorns’ first BCS win.
Ricky Williams' 1998 Heisman Trophy
When Brown entered Texas, he inherited a team that went 4-7 the previous year. The veteran head coach, who had come from North Carolina, started his revitalization of the Longhorns during his first season when he led Texas to a 9-3 record. His running back, Ricky Williams broke the 22-year-old NCAA all-time rushing record in Brown’s inaugural season and won the Heisman trophy — the first Texas player to do so since Earl Campbell.
2011 Texas A&M game
Texas’ matchup with Texas A&M in 2011 marked the final game in a storied rivalry, dating back to 1898. Brown, who holds a 10-4 record against the Aggies, was able to spoil Texas A&M’s going away party in another late-game thriller. As time expired, Justin Tucker kicked the ball through the uprights to give Texas the 27-25 win.
45-35 victory over Oklahoma
In October 2008, Texas, ranked No. 5, was able to upset No. 1, helping to ruin the Sooners' national title aspirations. Brown and his Longhorns took control of the top-ranked Sooners in the second half and ran away with the historic 45-35 upset. Still described as one of Brown’s best games, the win set Texas up for its second Big 12 title and an appearance in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.