“I Have No Regrets”: Notes from Mack Brown’s Resignation Press Conference

"In Time, I'll Tell My Story": Notes from Mack Brown's Resignation Press Conference

Sixteen seasons, 153 wins, two trips to the Rose Bowl, two Big 12 titles, and one national championship—Mack Brown has created quite an impressive legacy for himself at The University of Texas since he joined the coaching staff in 1997.

But, at a press conference Sunday, it wasn’t his stats that Brown pointed to as the highlights of his UT career. Instead, he listed meeting legendary Longhorn Coach Darrell Royal, watching Ricky Williams bring home the Heisman, and the times a pilot would fly by the burnt-orange UT Tower to show the team they’d won at away games among his favorite memories on the Forty Acres.

Following a Friday afternoon meeting with President Bill Powers and new AD Steve Patterson, Brown broke the resignation news to his team at a pre-Alamo Bowl practice yesterday, and word hit the media circuit shortly thereafter. Reading from front-and-back pages of handwritten notes, Brown explained his decision to a crowded room of journalists this afternoon.

“I really was back and forth all week,” Brown said, “because I sincerely want what’s best for Texas. The players and coaches shouldn’t have to be dealing with negatives about me. The University is so much bigger than one person.”

Brown said that his decision to leave comes despite being given the option to stay by Powers and Patterson, stating, “We mutually decided it was best to move on.”

Reflecting back on his 16-year career at Texas, 62-year-old Brown acknowledged both the highs—like 2005’s Rose Bowl victory and Williams’ Heisman win—and the lows, from the lackluster 2010-13 seasons to the 1999 A&M bonfire tragedy and the loss of defensive tackle Cole Pittman in a car accident in 2004.

“I may even write a book someday,” Brown said, “because being head football coach at The University of Texas is very interesting.”

While that may be a little ways off, Brown did share some of his plans for the immediate future.

“I’ve never done anything but coaching, so that’s something I’ll have to think about,” he said. “All I know right now is that I’m going to spend the next two weeks trying to beat Oregon, and then I’ll be working for President Powers.”

Per his contract, Brown will stay on at Texas as special assistant to the president, a position that will allow him to also pursue outside endeavors like say, a TV or consulting gig. He won’t, however, be assisting in the search for the Longhorns’ next head coach.

“I have no interest in being involved in the coaching search, because that’s [Powers & Patterson’s] choice,” Brown said. “Obviously if [the new coach] wants to ask me any questions, I will be there.”

Details about the search for Brown’s replacement are still being nailed down, according to Powers and Patterson, who also spoke at today’s conference. They were adamant, however, that they hadn’t spoken to anyone about the position yet—and yes, that includes Alabama’s Nick Saban.

The first step, Patterson says, will be identifying the criteria needed to be met by Texas’ next head coach, including extensive experience coaching the college game and handling student-athletes. As for how soon he’s hoping to bring in a replacement, Patterson was noncommittal, joking: “If I could have someone in by next Tuesday, that’d be great.”

Sharing advice for his successor, Brown quoted some wise words he received from Royal when he first started at UT.

“Whoever takes this job is going to have a wonderful experience,” Brown said. “Darrell Royal told me when I started: ‘Reach out to your letterman. You need to reach out to the faculty.’ He said, ‘You’ve got to handle the wonderful media that surrounds you at The University of Texas. And, oh yeah: You’ve got to win all your games.'”

The majority of Brown’s time at the mic was spent thanking people, including players, staff, media, parents of recruits, and those who hired him in the first place: DeLoss Dodds and then-UT president Larry Faulkner. And, despite recent negativity and calls for his resignation, Brown also took the time to thank all the Longhorn fans, whom he says have always treated him with “dignity and class.” Brown was brought to UT to reunite a fan base that was hopelessly divided following John Mackovic, and he succeeded in doing so for 16 years. Ironically, it’s an equally divided fan base that has convinced Brown to step down, but he assures us there are no hard feelings.

“I want to make sure everybody knows that I’ve been treated fairly, and it’s been a wonderful run here,” Brown said. “I have no regrets at all. And that stepping away from here will add 10 years to my life—or 20.”

Photo via Texas Exes on Instagram.


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