Less than 24 hours after doing the expected and stepping down as the head football coach at Texas, Mack Brown‘s future at the university has officially been clarified.
At a press conference celebrating Brown’s 16 years with the Longhorns, it was confirmed that Brown will serve as a special advisor to UT president Bill Powers. While Brown’s duties weren’t detailed, the now-former coach is expected to be heavily involved in fundraising for the university.
Brown will reportedly receive a salary of $500,000 for his new role, with a contract that runs through 2020. In 2013, Brown made a little under $5.5 million as head coach.
During the meeting with the media this afternoon, Brown stated that he went back and forth in his own head this week as he contemplated his future as the Longhorns’ coach. The decision to resign was made Saturday, Brown said, in the best interests of the program and without any push from university officials or boosters.
Brown was asked how he hopes his time in Austin, which included 158 wins (second all-time at the school to Darrell Royal‘s 167), two BCS championship game appearances and one title, will be remembered.
“Bringing some joy to Texas, getting us back on track,” the future Hall of Famer said. “The second thing is that I did it with integrity and class.”
Brown also gave a very poignant response when asked about the biggest regrets of his tenure: the Texas A&M bonfire tragedy and the death of Cole Pittman in a car wreck.
The the collapse of the Aggies’ traditional bonfire killed 12 people during Brown’s second season with the Longhorns in 1999. Pittman, a UT defensive end at the time, was killed in a single-car accident in February of 2001 as he was returning to Austin after visiting his family in Louisiana.
“This is the hardest thing I have faced in 29 years of coaching,” Brown said at the time of Pittman’s death. “We’ve lost a member of our family and it really hurts. Every member of our team is like a son and you can never prepare yourself for something like this. I don’t even know how to begin.”
It seems fitting, then, that Brown mentioned Pittman as he steps into coaching retirement. While many can debate Brown’s recent worth as a head coach and recruiter, there’s no debating the man is the epitome of class and grace on his way out of the door.