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Report: Mack Brown’s future is up to Mack Brown

Mack Brown AP

Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
An’ if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know…

For those who thought Nick Saban‘s contract extension was the end of the drama at both Alabama and Texas, you couldn’t have been more wrong on the latter front.

While most took Saban’s new deal to mean Mack Brown would remain as the Longhorns’ head coach, that’s not exactly the case. ┬áLost in Friday night’s hysteria is the fact that no one — not Brown, not athletic director Steve Patterson, not president Bill Powers — stated publicly and on the record that Brown would be back as UT’s head coach in 2014.

And, apparently, when that decision does come, it will be made by the coach himself.

That tweet followed up on a report from the World Wide Leader which stated that “[m]ultiple sources tell ESPN’s Holly Rowe that the decision on Brown’s job status is his alone and he has the support of Powers and Patterson.”

In his only public comments following the UT football team’s no-news awards banquet, Brown himself indicated that the decision will be on him.

“ESPN has had the story wrong,” Brown said. “Everybody just needs to slow down. I have a good relationship with my bosses, Bill Powers and Steve Patterson, and I look forward to making the best decision (about my future).”

While the message coming from Brown and ESPN is crystal clear, it remains decidedly unclear whether the decision will be solely on the longtime coach or if he will be nudged in one direction or another by UT regents or powerful boosters who could trump the support he’s receiving from Patterson and Powers.

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29 Responses to “Report: Mack Brown’s future is up to Mack Brown”
  1. southernpatriots says: Dec 14, 2013 12:10 PM

    If Coach Mack does not retire, but stays on at UT for another year or two, I would hope he would get the best assistant coaches in college football other than John Chavis or Cam Cameron.

    Kirby Smart may be available, as may be others, especially if it is known that their success in that time remaining for Mack would result in them having the inside track for the Longhorns’ head coaching job once Mack exits. If then Coach Brown would just be an overseer, and allow his new “best of the best” assistant coaches to do the play calling and all the rest, and he just looks over it all.

    If he does this, he will be able to add another two, maybe three wins to his seasonal totals and build the Longhorns up to conference champions and maybe a top 5 ranking.

  2. normtide says: Dec 14, 2013 12:35 PM

    It seems like maybe the school president and AD may be trying to wrest control of the football program away from the power boosters. That might actually be the best move bring made.

  3. normtide says: Dec 14, 2013 12:37 PM

    Dang southern, how about he gets chief and leaves Smart with Bama? Lol, that’s the problem with having great assistants, they are in demand.

  4. tubaplayingprof says: Dec 14, 2013 12:44 PM

    @norm

    any rumors down there that Smart is Saban’s heir apparent?

  5. Deb says: Dec 14, 2013 12:46 PM

    Oooh, boomgrounder called it! :)

    boomgrounder also speculated Mack might wait until after the title game to announce his transition from the head coach position so UT could go after Fisher or Malzahn. But, like Saban, both have signed contract extensions in the last couple of weeks. Can’t see either jumping ship right now. Then again, I don’t know how much money Texas would throw or how much that would influence them.

    Agree with southernpatriots that Mack needs good assistants if he stays. But Kirby’s one of the three highest-paid assistants in college ball. Why leave that stability to go into the tempest?

    Great song choice, JT ;)

  6. southernpatriots says: Dec 14, 2013 12:51 PM

    Norm: Don’t dang me…smile! Mack can’t have Chief, you see I excluded he and Cam from the beginning. It was just reported that LSU has the highest payroll for assistants in college football. I know Chief is getting 1 + million, and Cam just a fraction under that for the first couple of years, then his rises to that level as well.

    Next, we will see a battle royal, a bidding war, for the good assistant coaches, like for a few years there it was a bidding war between the Longhorns and Sooners as to whether their respective head coaches would be the highest paid in college football.

    alligatorsnapper! Where have you been, mon cher! Left many voice mails but…?

  7. halbert53 says: Dec 14, 2013 12:57 PM

    UT has been putting on a real clinic about how NOT to change head FB coaches. This is almost as good as what happened at Auburn several years ago when Tuberville was coach.

  8. sportsguy3434 says: Dec 14, 2013 1:01 PM

    Since the 2009 title game appearance, UT…no Mack has gone through 6 coordinators: Muschamp-Diaz-Robinson and Davis-Harsin-Applewhite. UT has opened up the check book to get whoever he wants and it hasn’t worked. There is no new house cleaning that will fix anything. They are loosing the recruiting battle, or not evaluating well, especially on OL and QB. Mack is the problem, and only he can fix it if he stays. I still think he goes, and he should announce before the bowl for everyone’s sake.

  9. Deb says: Dec 14, 2013 1:05 PM

    @southernpatriots …

    Cam has done a great job as your OC, and kudos for his development of Mettenberger. But Miles gets a lot of credit being able to work with him. :)

  10. irishdodger says: Dec 14, 2013 1:08 PM

    This & the Saban story have been milked to death. I realize it’s a dead period & there’s really just bowls, coaches & NFL declarations to speculate about. After we all cuss & discuss the bowls, we will get a little bump from signing day & then have to wait till Spring drills. Then it’s the worst time of year for CFB….NOTHING of consequence to discuss. Despite that, I still bite that they do away with preseason polls & cease letting coaches vote as well. Both are conjecture, popularity contests & laced with extreme prejudice.

  11. raysfan1 says: Dec 14, 2013 1:11 PM

    It’s amusing to sit back and observe the arrogance of some every time a big-time program’s head coaching position opens. USC folk just assumed that Peterson would fall all over himself to get the job, never mind he had already turned down UCLA two years earlier. The Texas job wasn’t/isn’t even open, and some just assumed Texas would wave around a bunch of cash and Saban/Malzahn/Fisher would come drooling. I’ve no doubt the same thing will happen next time Nebraska, Florida, Notre Dame or whoever has a vacancy.

  12. drummerhoff says: Dec 14, 2013 1:16 PM

    The decision to stay or go – at my job – is up to me… That’s as secure of a place to be as possible, wouldn’t you say?

  13. normtide says: Dec 14, 2013 1:19 PM

    Tuba- I can’t speak for every Bama fan, but most I know think as high of Smart as we do Saban. The thought was if Saban went to Texas, Kirby would get the HC job. We all know the coach in waiting idea is a failure, but he would seem to be in a spot like that. That said, I wouldn’t blame him for taking a HC gig before Saban retires. Not fair to ask a man to put his career in hold.

    Irishdodger- well said.

  14. southernpatriots says: Dec 14, 2013 1:20 PM

    Deb: You are so right. It is like getting Rob Ryan, the Silver-haired One as DC for the Saints. From the worst in the history of the NFL to one of the top defenses now. Almost all the same personnel. Cam did it, just as he did it in San Diego, and Baltimore.

    Miles does get along very well with Cam. Cam and he were room mates when they both started their coaching career under Bo at Michigan. The kept up with one another. Cam is Miles’ son’s godfather. So when Miles finally realized what fans, including my family and I, had been harping on that we really needed a true OC, not an OL coach serving as OC, and after the offensive debacle v. Clemson, Miles started looking and almost immediately Cam became available.

    Miles brought him down and they talked for several days before Cam was talked into returning to college football. I am sure the $1 million did not hurt either. He has made a difference.

    I don’t know how you all in Florida have been having such great weather when we have been freezing or near in south Louisiana. Usually, we have fairly similar weather, except for south Florida which is another temperate zone altogether. During this frigid time here, alot of LSU fans are really interested in going to Tampa now…ha.

    Thanks for the well wishes. I took the flu shot as usual but the strain I have is different from the one targeted by this year’s government vaccine. It is not much more than a guessing game, but most people don’t know this until they catch the flu and inquire how since they were vaccinated. I get to stay in and stay away from everyone. I can’t do this too long, I may get to like it! ha.

  15. drummerhoff says: Dec 14, 2013 1:40 PM

    “You couldn’t have been more wrong”… And then comedy ensues.

  16. Deb says: Dec 14, 2013 1:51 PM

    @southernpatriots …

    Be sure to mind the doctor ;) Hope it passes in time for you to enjoy the Christmas dinner!

    Just as I think Miles has a lot to do with Cam’s success at LSU, we all know who’s responsible for the turnaround in New Orleans! I’d probably put Payton at #2 behind Belichick on my list of the best in the league. A lot of guys are talented with the Xs and Os–Cam and Rob Ryan fall into that category. But it takes a special talent to steer the whole ship. Payton is a master motivator. I’m still in shock over their game with Seattle a couple of weeks ago. Hoping for a rematch in the playoffs. Looking forward to seeing how they regroup–although Seattle is playing some great ball this year. More than I can say for my team :)

  17. halbert53 says: Dec 14, 2013 2:26 PM

    @southern patriots
    Les & Cam were recently in my neck of the woods close to Bossier City making a home visit to QB Brandon Harris, whose undefeated Parkway HS plays for state title in the Superdome 8 pm tonight. Brandon is enrolling in Jan so he will go through spring practice and would expect him to start/play a lot next fall. Since under weather you may want to listen to that game and/ or watch on TV tomorrow (? Delayed broadcast). Sure beats all this will he/won’t he stuff. LSU fans will be glad to see him.

    Harris based his decision in large part on how well Cam has done with Met.

  18. realfootballfan says: Dec 14, 2013 2:34 PM

    Deb,

    I doubt those two are an option just because they are playing in the championship game, even more so for Malzahn because I think he’s exactly at the job he wants to retire in. A year from now, I think Jimbo Fisher (unless he’s playing in another national championship game, I can hope) would be one of their top targets. Florida State does not compete in the same atmosphere as the SEC teams and certainly not Texas (although LSU or Alabama would be the two jobs I think he’d be eying most to jump to when he grows up). as far as resources, He had to twist arms to get the indoor practice facility built and get assistants even reasonable raises. FSU only competes on the level they do because of their location in such a fertile recruiting ground and legacy from the Bowden years.

    This is simply about Mack Brown in the same scenario we saw play out with Bowden and Paterno at the end although he has much less ground to stand on. He’s not going quietly into the night, and right now no one is forcing him to because they have no ideal candidate. Personally, i think they should go after Gary Patterson or like someone else said, recruit an assistant who would be coach in waiting (and really identify the right guy this time, not just find the hottest assistant like they did with Muschamp who appears to be a bullet they dodged).

  19. tulsacyfan says: Dec 14, 2013 3:11 PM

    Why is it so hard for these old guys to hang it up when it is clearly time to hang it up? i.e. Mack Brown, Bobby Bowden, Joe Paterno, senior partner at our CPA firm……..

    Maybe this is a generational thing. I just don’t get it. These guys have all the money they need, but can’t walk away at or close to the top and insist on staying and driving these programs into the ground.

  20. realfootballfan says: Dec 14, 2013 3:25 PM

    tulsacyfan,

    Easy. Millions of dollars is part of it, and being royalty to a fan base for so many years is the other part of this equation. Imagine yourself being top dog at a company for decades (in Bowden and Paterno’s case) and then people turn on you once you start slipping on performance for whatever reason. You could have had any of these people dismissed from your presence at the height of your time but then when you’re coming back down, people tend to step on your back on the way down. Another part of it is competitiveness, too. At some level, that had to be part of the equation when these men decided to be crazy enough to think they could mold men, usually a generation younger than them into a cohesive unit.

  21. baredon says: Dec 14, 2013 3:26 PM

    Brown has been treated like the “redheaded step child” at UT. Where was the president or AD saying something in his defense??

    If I was Brown, I would tell them to “kiss my grits” and leave them hanging…

  22. thefiesty1 says: Dec 14, 2013 3:51 PM

    I guess that since Mack makes more money than either Powers and Patterson he is calling ALL the shots. When Mack secretly hand picks his successor and finishes negotiating his new contract as Special Assistant to the President an announcement will be made. Until then…..

  23. Deb says: Dec 14, 2013 3:56 PM

    @realfootballfan …

    Wow … I’d never have guessed FSU was stingy about allotting resources to the football team. But my perception of FSU is somewhat skewed because, as my brother says, there are an unusually large number of Seminole fans in my area. So it always seems to me they’re on par with Florida. But he pointed out to me that Florida has a much larger fanbase statewide–and probably a larger budget as well. Would be a shame to see you lose Jimbo after he’s done so much for the program.

  24. Deb says: Dec 14, 2013 4:06 PM

    @tulsacyfan …

    I’ll go out on a limb and guess the senior partner in your accounting firm isn’t making Mack Brown money–so it’s not all about the $$$.

    For a lot of people, work defines who they are. It’s what makes them feel like useful, contributing members of society. It’s what they enjoy and what they’re good at. Sure, salary is a factor, but they also thrive on the challenges of their job–and wouldn’t know what to do with themselves if they didn’t have it. Bear Bryant said he’d probably “croak in a week” after retiring. He died 28 days after coaching his last game.

    You may find when you get older that you don’t want to step down just because someone else thinks you’re too old. Brown is the same age as Saban–and they’re both 15 years younger than Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, who’s 76. As a fan, I’m not ready for either Saban or LeBeau to go anywhere. They’re still at the top of their game. If the folks paying you think you still have it, then you still have it.

  25. realfootballfan says: Dec 14, 2013 4:38 PM

    Deb,

    I don’t mean to slight my alma mater because they are commited to the football team, just not in that at all costs way it is at other places like Alabama, Texas, and others. Part of it is that we play in the ACC, which is why they were trying to move to the SEC last year but Florida blocked that move. However, you have to remember that Bowden built this program from not a traditional football legacy, alot like Miami is who btw has a even worse situation as far as resources go being a private school and small booster base. They both compete as they do because they were first in the state along with Florida to tap the riches and thus remain the high profile destinations for talent in their backyard that is more than enough to go around for all three and then some as you can see with UCF, USF when they were on their mini-run, FIU recently with some players they’ve put into the pros, not to mention all the players you see popping up on all these other teams around the country. I think the biggest tussle he had was getting his assistants paid as you see we lost most of the staff last off-season, and it actually is putting us at a disadvantage preparation-wise because Auburn’s offensive staff is littered with coaches who recruited and were in on the development of our personnel literally one year ago today. Giving Malzahn that advantage is not ideal.

  26. tulsacyfan says: Dec 14, 2013 5:12 PM

    While I get the need to feel to contribute to society, there are a lot of ways to do this other than hanging on to a job that you aren’t doing all that well at. When you are making five millions dollars or more a year to coach the Texas Longhorns, the expectation is to perform. Every year.

    For whatever reason, Texas has simply not performed all that well for quite a while under Mack Brown. Too many apologists for his performance as coach…. Sheesh, they didn’t even qualify for a bowl game a couple years ago! How does the University of Texas ever not qualify for a bowl game?

    Texas has unbelievable resources and unbelievable in state talent to draw from. Something is clearly wrong there – it is not hard to see. To me, at some point it is time to move on and let someone with more fire in the belly, not necessarily always someone younger, step in.

    Be honest, if you made $5+Mil a year for an extended period of time would you have the same degree of fire in the belly? Or would you start to rest on your laurels and past success? That may be what has happened here.

  27. southernpatriots says: Dec 14, 2013 5:13 PM

    halbert53: There is some great football being played in high schools around Louisiana. I don’t know how happy I am with the strange system they are playing in this season. I hope they change back to just a single system with the size of the school determining the division as it was before. Maybe it is my age. I don’t like this change.

    Miles and Cam were looking at some great players in the game his son was QBing for U High. They fared about as well as LSU did against Bama in the BCS CG. I guess both father and son now have that also in common.

    WWL will be broadcasting the game with Parkway as they have tried to broadcast all the playoffs and championships they possibly could. I think Big Chief Deke will not have a voice after all these games are over.

    Back in the dinosaur age, I played high school ball. We did well in my sophomore year and then came upon Captain Shreve. They were huge and layed us down. By the time we were seniors we had their number and won the state Quad A.

    I think I will engineer some wire to extend my antenna range (now since I have cable and no antenna) so I can get better reception. I missed some parts of the playoff games. Though WWL is a clear station at night, we don’t always get the best reception.

    Deb: The problem with Payton is it really appears he is intimidated by Belichick. That can be seen at what he does when he does face the Patriots and during the game. If he gets over that, I think he will actually be able to beat them sometime.

  28. Deb says: Dec 14, 2013 5:42 PM

    @realfootballfan …

    I didn’t think you were slighting the alma mater–as a Floridian, I know FSU is a good school. And as a lifelong Bama fan, I know not many schools are willing to pony up the kind of money Bama does for its football program. The Bear’s son didn’t inherit his coaching skill, but he is quite a businessman, very wealthy, and a very generous booster :)

    @tusacyfan …

    Yes, that’s the problem when you’re talking about a high-paying job like Mack’s. Since most people don’t want to give up the reins on their careers, someone else needs to be calling the shots. You can’t let a coach run a football program worth billions into the ground because he can’t let go. Things were becoming pretty awkward with Paterno at Penn State before fate intervened.

    @southernpats …

    Since they only play ever four years, I hadn’t realized Payton was another person suffering from the Belichick jinx. They’re both from the Parcells tree, so I’m not surprised. Great as he is, Dick LeBeau has struggled to game-plan against Brady. He finally seemed to get his number in 2011–just as our decline began. It would be interesting to see Belichick and Payton face off in the Super Bowl. In addition to those coaches being in my top two, Brady and Brees, along with Peyton, would be my top three QBs.

  29. realfootballfan says: Dec 14, 2013 6:38 PM

    tulsacyfan,

    I think it’s simpler than that. Mack Brown is simply overpaid for his level of accomplishment. He’s a good coach, but he’s never been elite at his job. Outside of a 3 to 4 year window at resource-rich Texas and a couple of years at North Carolina, he’s been at the level of a second tier coach, which was okay at UNC as it’s a basketball school, not okay at Texas, and it’s a wonder it’s taken this long for Texas fans to catch on.

    His conference titles are sparse in 25 years of head coaching whether it be ACC, Big 12, or whatever conference Tulane played in when he was there. It’s on the boosters that they felt like throwing their money around to show their superiority when he pulled out a miracle late and won that one national championship against USC and some of the worst playcallers ever as we know now in hindsight all too well as Lane Kiffin has failed spectacularly everywhere he’s gone and Steve Sarkisian has been patently mediocre. No one was trying to pry Mack Brown from Texas to prompt that action.

    It’s why I simply do not understand all the hand wringing going on if all we’re talking about here is football coaching, not if some fans like the man personally or not.

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