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Mack Brown will resign as head coach of Texas

Kevork Djansezian/Associated Press
Mack Brown announced he will step down as head coach of Texas after 16 seasons.

Mack Brown will resign after 16 seasons as head coach of the Texas Longhorns, the school announced Saturday.

"Sally and I were brought to Texas 16 years ago to pull together a football program that was divided," Brown said in a prepared statement. "With a lot of passion, hard work and determination from the kids, coaches and staff, we did that. We built a strong football family, reached great heights and accomplished a lot, and for that, I thank everyone. It's been a wonderful ride. Now, the program is again being pulled in different directions, and I think the time is right for a change.

"It is the best coaching job and the premier football program in America," Brown said. "I sincerely want it to get back to the top, and that's why I am stepping down after the bowl game. I hope with some new energy, we can get this thing rolling again."

The decision by Brown, who will coach Texas in the Alamo Bowl against Oregon on Dec. 30, ends a week's worth of uncertainty regarding his future.

Brown met with school president Bill Powers and new athletic director Steve Patterson on Friday but refused to discuss his status afterward or during the team's end-of-season banquet.

Brown, 62, returned the Longhorns to the top of college football by winning the 2005 BCS national championship with a thrilling 41-38 victory in the 2006 Rose Bowl.

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Top 10 current NFL players from Texas

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Under Brown, Texas has also produced a host of top draft picks and standout NFL players, including Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton and Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas. Senior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat and wide receiver Mike Davis could join that group in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Brown's accomplishments at Texas also include nine consecutive seasons with 10 or more wins. The team won two Big 12 championships and the Rose and Fiesta Bowls during an exceptional run from 2001-09. His overall record is 158-47.

That 2009 season ended with a return trip to Pasadena, Calif., for the 2010 BCS national championship game, but Texas lost to Alabama, 37-21. In the four seasons that followed, Brown and Texas were never able to again reach such heights.

Texas has gone 30-20, 18-17 in Big 12 play, during that stretch. Poor quarterback recruiting and development hindered the program, and an overhaul of the coaching staff yielded mixed results.

After an embarrassing loss at BYU in which Texas allowed a school-record 550 rushing yards, Brown fired defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. Texas rallied to win six straight conference games, including a surprising 36-20 win over Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry, before losing to Oklahoma State. Still, with a chance to win the Big 12 title and claim a bid to the Fiesta Bowl last Saturday, Texas was outclassed by Baylor in a 30-10 defeat.

With its enormous financial resources and recruiting base, the Texas job is among the most coveted in the game. But many of the top potential candidates for the job -- including Jim Mora of UCLA, Art Briles of Baylor and Jimbo Fisher of Florida State -- have agreed to or are in the process of negotiating contract extensions.

Whomever Texas finds as its next head coach -- one of those standout names or someone lower on the list -- will reflect whether it is the outstanding job Brown showed it could be or the lesser position he is about to leave behind.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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