The Mack Brown era of Texas football is reportedly coming to an end.
According to Orangebloods.com’s Chip Brown, citing two "high-level sources,” Brown will announce he is stepping down as UT’s football coach by the end of the week. Brown, who led the program to a national title in 2005, will leave the Longhorns second all-time with 158 wins since being hired in 1998.
"Mack Brown loves Texas and wants what’s in the best interest of Texas and what’s in the best interest of Mack Brown,” one source told Orangebloods. “I don’t think it’s been an easy decision. But he doesn’t want negativity around the program he helped unify."
Yahoo's Pat Forde is reporting that Brown was recruiting in Florida on Tuesday and is trying to arrange a meeting with school president Bill Powers and new athletic director Steve Patterson for next week in Austin. The three hoped to meet in New York this week at the National Football Federation’s annual function, but Powers was unable to attend.
Patterson issued a brief statement to the media Tuesday, saying "We continue to discuss the future of Texas Football. Mack Brown has not resigned. And, no decisions have been made."
Powers is embroiled in his own job crisis, with Gov. Rick Perry among his reported adversaries. A Texas Board of Regents meeting is scheduled for Thursday, with an official agenda item to vote on his continued employment as school president. The outcome of that vote may have an effect on Brown’s status, Forde's source said, citing Powers’ longstanding allegiance to Brown.
Forde also said via Twitter that Texas is denying the Orangebloods.com report:
Y! Source says Mack Brown hasn't told anyone he's stepping down and there has been no meeting with staff or administrators.
— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) December 10, 2013
The denial makes sense since it allows Texas to control the story and send Brown off properly during Texas' football banquet on Friday. According to Orangebloods.com, the football banquet is not only going to celebrate the 2013 season, but also Brown's 16 seasons as coach.
Brown's final game is expected to be the Valero Alamo Bowl against Oregon on Dec. 30.
Brown, who earned $5.4 million in 2013 and is under contract through 2020, will “receive the $2.75 million buyout in his contract and other considerations,” the report said.
Additionally, “by voluntarily relinquishing his head coaching duties, as part of his current contract, Brown would be ‘reassigned to another significant position’ in the athletic department at an annual salary of $500,000 through the end of his contract,” the report said. That position would be “similar to the ‘special assistant to the president’ designation formerly held by (Darrell) Royal,” sources told Orangebloods.
Brown’s Longhorns had a string of consecutive 10-win seasons from 2001-2009, but after a 2009 National Championship loss to Alabama in 2009, the Longhorns went 5-7 in 2010, 8-5 in 2011, and 9-4 in 2012 before 2013’s 8-4 campaign.
In the past four seasons, Texas is 18-17 record in Big 12 play and is just 14-11 at home. Previously, Texas had lost only nine games at home from 1997-2009.
With Texas’ season-ending loss to Baylor on Saturday, Brown became the first coach in Texas history to have four straight seasons with at least four losses.
With Brown now reportedly out of the picture, maybe Texas will make another attempt to lure Nick Saban from Alabama. After all, he was paged by pranksters at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport early Tuesday afternoon.
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