Mack Brown

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The last time the Texas Longhorns won the national championship…

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For the first time in a number of years, there seems to be a real sense of optimism surrounding the Texas Longhorns football program heading into the 2019 season. An appearance in the Big 12 championship game and a victory over the Georgia Bulldogs in the Sugar Bowl has been the fuel for the suggestion, as quarterback Sam Ehlinger proclaimed in New Orleans, that Texas is back. For the Longhorns, that means Texas fans are gearing up to legitimately think about celebrating a long-awaited national championship once again.

The last national championship celebrated in Austin came at the end of the 2005 season with one of the most memorable endings in Rose Bowl history. After being the No. 2 team in the AP poll all season long behind only the Trojans, Texas quarterback Vince Young turned in one of the best performances you could ask for under the pressure of the national championship spotlight. Young completed 30 of 40 pass attempts for 267 yards and rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns, none more visually memorable as his third, which proved to be the title-winning score to end program’s national title drought that spanned back to the 1970 season (although Texas faithful will argue their case for the 1977 and 1981 titles).

To put things in some perspective, let’s take a stroll down memory lane to see what was going on in 2005, the last time Texas had a national championship season.

Last National Title Season: 2005 (13 years and counting)

Who was President?

That would be none other than George W. Bush. Bush had just been sworn in for his second term in office following a victory in the 2004 election against John Kerry.

Also in 2005, current President Donald J. Trump married his third wife, Melania Knauss.

What was on TV?

Just a couple of weeks after Texas celebrated their national championship victory, “American Idol” was entering its fifth season as the nation’s top-rated television program. This was the season that would eventually lead to Carrie Underwood, a native of Oklahoma, to be named the winner of the singing competition. You may have heard of her. She’s the woman who would go on to sing the theme song for Sunday Night Football on NBC later on in her musical career.

If you were watching NBC, then odds are pretty decent you were watching “Deal or No Deal,” hosted by none other than Howie Mandel.

What movies were hot?

The final chapter in the Star Wars prequel, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith had come out earlier in the spring and was probably making its way to DVD by the time Texas started their championship season. But the final movie directed by George Lucas in his Star Wars saga would not be the top movie at the box office in 2005. That honor belonged to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth installment in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which came out in November of 2005. It took a wizard to take down a Jedi in 2005.

Still in an age before Marvel movies took over the superhero genre and the box office ticket sales, the first installment in Christopher Nolan‘s Batman trilogy hit theaters as well with Batman Begins. Amazingly, the remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory starring Johnny Depp actually beat Batman at the box office. In hindsight, what were we thinking? Another superhero movie released in 2005 was Fantastic Four, starring Chris Evans, who would later go on to play a much better role in a much better franchise as Captain America.

Also released in 2005? The Adam Sandler-led remake of The Longest Yard. Burt Reynolds made an appearance in the movie as well, of course.

As for the Oscars, Brokeback Mountain Best Film while Crash took Best Original Screenplay.

Who was on the cover of NCAA Football?

NCAA Football 06NCAA Football 06 was released by EA Sports on July 12, 2005 for the Sony PlayStation 2 and the Microsoft Xbox. Sorry Nintendo Gamecube fans. You were left out of the game this time. This year’s edition of the game introduced the “Race for the Heisman ” mode, which would become a fun feature of the game in some capacity.

Michigan’s Desmond Howard was featured on the cover of the game, striking his signature pose for the cover. This marked the first time in the franchise’s history a player who didn’t play the previous season and had gone on to the NFL appeared on the cover of the game.

What else happened in 2005?

The Chicago White Sox won the 2005 World Series, sweeping the Houston Astros. The White Sox snapped their own championship drought in doing so with their first World Series title since 1917. The year before, in 2004, the Boston Red Sox had snapped their World Series drought.

The San Antonio Spurs won their third NBA championship in seven seasons. North Carolina won their first men’s college basketball national championship under Roy Williams.

Lance Armstrong won his seventh consecutive Tour de France. That wouldn’t come into play down the line, right?

Tiger Woods won his fourth Masters title in 2005. He also won at the British Open.

The NHL had the 2004-2005 season canceled over a labor dispute, so there was no Stanley Cup winner in 2005, although the Carolina Hurricanes would top the Edmonton Oilers in the 2005-2006 season. Cam Ward was the playoff MVP.

The Pittsburgh Steelers would be Super Bowl champions shortly after the Texas national championship run. Ben Roethlisberger and Jerome Bettis topped the Seattle Seahawks years before former UCLA head coach Jim Mora and former USC head coach Pete Carroll would take a run at coaching the NFC West franchise.

Nick Saban was in his first NFL season with the Miami Dolphins. He’d be coming back to the SEC soon enough. At Clemson, Dabo Swinney was a wide receivers coach in his third year on the job. He would be named interim head coach of the Tigers three years later.

Current Texas head coach Tom Herman was in his first season as an offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for Texas State.

Mack Brown today

GLENDALE, AZ – JANUARY 05: Head coach Mack Brown of the Texas Longhorns celebrates after defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Game on January 5, 2009 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The Longhorns defeated the Buckeyes 24-21 (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The head coach of the last national championship for Texas, Mack Brown, is getting back in the coaching game this season. Brown was essentially forced out of his position as head coach at Texas at the end of the 2013 season, amid some possible expectations Texas boosters would be able to lure Nick Saban away from Alabama. Instead, Texas got Charlie Strong from Louisville. Brown went to work for ABC and ESPN as a studio analyst with some work in the booth to go with it, but after five years on TV, Brown is returning to another one of his previous stops to resume his coaching career. Brown is now the head coach at North Carolina, the school that employed him before Texas hired him away from Chapel Hill prior to the 1998 season.

Mack Brown flips 4-star QB Sam Howell from FSU to UNC

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Maybe Mack Brown still has a few tricks up his sleeve after all. While most coaches will struggle making much of an impact with a short window to work with before the early signing period, Brown managed to score a nice recruiting victory at the expense of another ACC program on Wednesday. Quarterback Sam Howell officially flipped his commitment from Florida State to Brown’s North Carolina Tar Heels on the first day during the early signing period.

Howell is a four-star pro-style quarterback, according to his Rivals profile. The recruiting service ranks Howell as the nation’s fourth-best pro-style passer and the third top recruit overall in the state of North Carolina. Brown being able to secure one of the top recruits from within the state, and one that plays such a key position is a major recruiting victory for the Tar Heels. To keep him from going to a program like Florida State is the cherry on top of the recruiting battle as well.

Howell had remained committed to Florida State after the Seminoles lost offensive coordinator Walt Bell, who led the recruiting effort for Howell at Florida State, to a head coaching job at UMass but Brown and new UNC offensive coordinator Phil Longo remained in pursuit for one of the top recruits in the state. Howell will get a chance to be a major building block for an in-state program looking to return to a successful level that has been missing for the majority of time since Brown was last the head coach of the program.

This is what my family and I thought was best,” Howell said, according to Rivals. “I learned about coach Longo as a person and what he’s going to do offensively when I met with him on Sunday. I really liked him and I’m excited to play for him. I think he’s a really good quarterbacks coach.”

This is a great way for Brown to get his second run in Chapel Hill started.

Report: Ex-Louisville coordinator Lonnie Galloway heading to UNC

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News regarding the offensive coordinator position at North Carolina has been busy the past few days, but the latest report suggests one has been found. Lonnie Galloway, a former offensive coordinator at Louisville, will be heading to Chapel Hill to fill the role of offensive coordinator for UNC head coach Mack Brown, according to a report from Football Scoop on Saturday.

Galloway has made the rounds in his coaching career. Before arriving at Louisville, Galloway has coached at Elon, East Carolina, Appalachian State, West Virginia and Wake Forest. Galloway was previously connected to the Wakey Leaks scandal as a Louisville assistant when he was reported to have initiated contact with a former Wake Forest radio analyst to acquire some information from within the Wake Forest football program leading up to a game. Galloway was suspended for the Citrus Bowl at the end of the 2016 season.

Galloway’s experience and familiarity in and around North Carolina should be a key asset for him as he joins Brown’s coaching staff. With a fertile ground for football talent, having coaches who are as connected as possible in the state should serve North Carolina well as Brown looks to re-establish a foundation for future success.

Conflicting reports previously attached North Texas offensive coordinator and former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell to the offensive coordinator job at North Carolina. It appears Harrell is not leaving North Texas, at least for the Tar Heels, at this time.

Report: Mack Brown adding Greg Robinson as UNC’s defensive coordinator

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It appears Mack Brown is not wasting much time putting his new coaching staff together in his return to North Carolina. Among the first hires he is making is Greg Robinson as defensive coordinator, according to a report from Football Scoop.

Brown and Robinson have a history, of course. Robinson has coached under Brown as a defensive coordinator at Texas on two separate occasions under Brown, first sharing the duties in 2004 before being named head coach at Syracuse and again in 2013.

Robinson has not coached since retiring from the role of defensive coordinator at San Jose State in 2015 after two years on the job.

No official announcement from UNC regarding the hiring of Robinson has been made at this time, but it would appear that could come at any time. In addition to Robinson, Football scoop reports former UNC player Dre Bly could be another addition to the coaching staff, helping out with cornerbacks.

It is important for Brown to get his staff assembled as quickly as possible as recruiting work is already underway. Until a coach is officially hired by a university, they may not participate in recruiting activities and planning for that school.

Reports flaring about Mack Brown heading back to UNC

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The job search for a new head coach at North Carolina may have already wrapped up, and a reunion with Mack Brown is reportedly all but official at this point. That’s right, Mack Brown, the former head coach of the Tar Heels from 1988 through 1997 is reportedly being hired to return to Chapel Hill following the dismissal of Larry Fedora over the weekend.

News of the Brown hiring was reported Monday morning by Inside Carolina, which followed up a previous report from Football Scoop from Sunday noting there were some hot murmurs about the hiring process at UNC being connected to Brown. ESPN analyst Tom Luginbill also said on Sirius XM Radio “Mack Brown will be the head coach for a second tenure at North Carolina.”

Brown, who will be 68 by the time next season kicks off, last coached at Texas in 2013, when he was unceremoniously pushed out the door to make room for Nick Saban only for the Longhorns to hire Charlie Strong instead. Since then, Brown has been working as an analyst for ESPN. The College Football Hall of Fame head coach has one BCS national championship to his name and he was the 1996 ACC Coach of the Year when UNC went 10-2 and a top 10 finish. UNC has finished in the AP top 25 just once since Brown left UNC for Texas after the 1997 season. Brown coached UNC to four top 25 finishes in the AP Top 25, and four of the five top 25 seasons on Chapel Hill since 1983.

Perhaps there could be some benefit to bringing back a coach like Brown, who is familiar and devoted to improving the program, but it is probably safe to say Brown’s potential success at UNC will be reliant on having a strong supporting cast around him.