|Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press|
|Mack Brown has resigned as Texas' head coach after 16 seasons.|
Mack Brown said Sunday that he is stepping down as Texas' coach because there would be too many distractions and too many negatives surrounding the program if he were to continue.
His resignation was announced Saturday and the official news conference featuring Brown, new athletic director Steve Patterson and school president Bill Powers was Sunday.
Brown is not completely out of the picture at Texas, though. The Austin American-Statesman reported that Brown will stay at Texas as a special adviser to Powers, making $500,000 annually.
Powers said hiring a new coach would be Patterson's job but that the AD would get input from a variety of sources. Patterson said the next coach needs "extensive" experience coaching in college, and he said he had not had "any conversations with anybody" about the job.
"There's been a lot of malarkey in the press the last couple of weeks," he said.
For his part, Powers said he has had no contact with Alabama coach Nick Saban or his agent. Numerous reports had Saban connected with the job before Brown's resignation was made official, but Saban agreed to a contract extension with the Tide on Saturday and said he never considered leaving Alabama for Texas.
Patterson joked that he would like to have a new coach in place "by Tuesday at noon if we could." He also said -- but wasn't joking when he said it -- that the new coach would be expected to "win big."
In some respects, Brown did win big. He was 158-47 in 16 seasons with the Longhorns and had nine 10-win seasons; Texas had nine 10-win seasons in the previous 33 seasons before Brown's hiring.
On the other hand, he won just two outright league titles in those 16 seasons at Texas. As a point of comparison, Oklahoma's Bob Stoops has won seven outright and shared another in 15 seasons.
Brown did lead Texas to a national title in 2005, with Vince Young at quarterback. It was the Longhorns' first national title since 1969. The Longhorns also played for the 2009 title but lost to Alabama.
Since that title-game loss to the Tide, Texas has slid quickly into national irrelevance. The Longhorns are 26-20 in the ensuing four seasons, including an 8-4 mark this season that included non-conference losses to BYU and Ole Miss in which Texas was manhandled physically. Brown was making almost $5.5 million per season, and Texas was not getting its money's worth.
The new coach will face a ton of pressure, no doubt. But despite two NFL coaches and Saban saying they're not interested, the line of potential coaches will be out the door. This is one of the top three jobs in the country, and it might be the best.
The facilities are excellent. The athletic department is swimming in money. And the recruiting base is incredible. The biggest recruiting problem Texas has had of late is developing talent; the Longhorns certainly have not had any trouble signing top-shelf talent.
Assuming Patterson hires the right guy, wins should follow in close order. But the words "Texas" and "the right guy" haven't always gone hand-in-hand. Since Longhorns coaching legend Darrell Royal retired after the 1976 season, the Longhorns have had just four coaches. But say the names Fred Akers, David McWilliams and John Mackovic to most Texas fans, and they will cringe. Brown was the first Longhorns coach since Royal to win consistently, so despite all the tremendous positives associated with the program, it's not a given that the Longhorns win big. There's as much pressure on Patterson to pick the right guy as there will be on the guy he picks to win games.
Brown got a good laugh Sunday when he referred to his age. He turned 62 in August and joked that "stepping away will add 10 years to my life. Maybe 20. I'm really 42. Just looks like I'm a little older."
The new guy will find out about that pressure quickly. What he also will find out: He won't be allowed to stick around for 16 seasons if he wins just two league titles.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.