In the end a national championship against USC in the 2005 Rose Bowl and a second trip to the national championship game a few years later, were not enough to save Mack Brown's job as head football coach at the University of Texas, according to Yahoo!Sports and an article in the Dallas Morning News. Brown had also done a remarkable job in 2012 after losing starting quarterback David Ash and running back Jonathan Gray to injuries by getting to the Longhorns to the Big 12 championship game against eventual champ Baylor which defeated them 30-10.
An 8-4 record and a berth in this Monday's Alamo Bowl against Oregon would be cause for celebration at many schools, but that sort of record is not even acceptable at Texas which is used to winning championships. His resignation had more twists to it than a Shakespearean play.
On Friday, Dec. 13 Brown spoke at the Longhorns sports banquet live on ESPN as did new Athletic Director Steve Patterson who said he looked forward to working with Brown for many years in the future. Brown spoke of Patterson in glowing terms calling him a "star". Brown reportedly had met with Texas President Bill Powers and Patterson earlier Friday in a cordial atmosphere and emerged with an understanding that Brown could coach one more year through 2014 if he decided he wanted to do that.
Powers has been known as a staunch supporter of Brown's during his 16-year stay at UT in which such stars as Vince Young, Jamal Charles, Major Applewhite, Chris Simms, Cedric Benson and Colt McCoy helped the Horns to national prestige and respect. But according to reports, Powers himself barely survived a shaky vote of support by the Board Of Regents earlier in the week.
According to the Yahoo report, Powers then withdrew his support from Brown when several Regents communicated to him they would no longer support him as president if he continued to support Brown. Powers then assigned Patterson the unpleasant task of notifying Brown the Alamo Bowl would be the last game he would coach for Texas.
Lest one feel too sorry for Brown, he will be paid $500,000 annually through 2020 as a special assistant to the president. Of course that will amount to a pay cut from the $5 million a year he's been making to coach the Steers.
The Texas search for a successor has not yet been completed with Baylor's Art Briles, Stanford's David Shaw, Auburn's Gus Malzahn, San Francisco's Jim Harbaugh and Vanderbilt's James Franklin being named as prominent possibilities. Briles has not commented other than to stay "the grass is green since we built a new stadium at Baylor." Franklin has compiled a 23-15 record in three years at the helm of the Commodores winning eight games in one season in the tough SEC. Some recent reports indicate Franklin could be the favorite.
With millionaires and billionaires comprising a portion of Longhorn alumni, money would not seem to pose a problem in hiring the next head coach. And evidently UT doesn't even need a head coach in place to have a successful recruiting class as many high school athletes have said the departure of Brown will not affect their commitments to the Austin school.
The power and influence of UT are rumored to be one of the main reasons Texas A&M exited the Big 12 for the SEC. Many Aggies complained of being in the shadow of the Longhorns.
Other reports indicated one of the reasons Nebraska left the Big 12 for the Big 10 was because of its anger at the growing influence of the entire state of Texas on the conference which of course includes UT.
Legendary Coach Darrell Royal may have set the standards impossibly high for future coaches when he won two national championships and numerous Southwest Conference championships during his stay there. Royal replaced starting quarterback Bill Bradley after a 6-4 season with James Street who never lost a game in two years as the Texas signal-caller while leading the Longhorns to a national championship in 1963. After Texas defeated Arkansas 15-14 based on a fourth down pass of about 30 yards in the waning moments of the game by Street, President Richard Nixon famously appeared in the dressing room and proclaimed the Longhorns national champions which angered Penn State's Joe Paterno who felt his team was better.
Texas then went on to defeat Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl that year to clinch the national championship in all the polls forcing Paterno to wait several years before his Nittany Lions won a national title.
A recent article in the Austin American Statesman newspaper said it would have been inconceivable for UT to force Brown out if he had won the Big 12 championship by defeating Baylor.
UT officials have not confirmed the Yahoo Sports version of Mack Brown's departure and the report is in conflict with comments made by Brown, Patterson and Powers at the Dec. 13 sports banquet.
ESPN has repeatedly reported that two Texas regents met with Alabama coach Nick Saban's agent Jimmy Sexon last February about the Crimon Tide mentor's availability to replace Brown then.
While Brown finishes with a 244-121-1 record, his teams lost four or more games in each of the last four seasons which would be good at most colleges, but not acceptable at the University of Texas which has won three national championships and challenged for several others.
Famed attorney Joe Jamail is reportedly representing Brown in negotiations to improve his payout from the university.
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