Mack Brown Resigns as Texas Head Coach

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2013

AP Images

For the first time in 16 years, the University of Texas will have to look for a new football coach.

Mack Brown has resigned as head coach. ESPN Texas documented Brown's press conference:

Mack Brown's press conference begins pic.twitter.com/v9BytrNUQh

— ESPN Texas (@ESPNTexas) December 15, 2013

Mack Brown: “We sat down on Friday afternoon and he and I and Bill Powers had a great meeting."

— ESPN Texas (@ESPNTexas) December 15, 2013

Mack Brown said he slept on decision Friday, met again Saturday and decided to move on.

— ESPN Texas (@ESPNTexas) December 15, 2013

Mack Brown said AD Steve Patterson and president Bill Powers wanted him to stay.

— ESPN Texas (@ESPNTexas) December 15, 2013

Mack Brown: “I’ve never done anything but coaching.” He’ll be special assistant to president going forward.

— ESPN Texas (@ESPNTexas) December 15, 2013

Mack Brown: “In time, I will tell my story. One of these days I’ll get with you all and tell the story or I may even write a book."

— ESPN Texas (@ESPNTexas) December 15, 2013

Mack Brown said he has no interest in being involved in the coaching search.

— ESPN Texas (@ESPNTexas) December 15, 2013

The Longhorn Network was first to report that Brown would leave the Longhorns at the end of the season. Brown's final game will be the Alamo Bowl against Oregon on Dec. 30.

BREAKING: Mack Brown will resign as Texas head coach.

— Longhorn Network (@LonghornNetwork) December 15, 2013

247 Sports' Blake Munroe provided an additional detail on the news:

Mack Brown told the team about an hour ago that he resigned. He made the decision at 3:00 PM today More @ http://t.co/hErcnOBWUv #ut #horns

— Blake Munroe (@247Blake) December 15, 2013

Brown issued a statement via TexasSports.com:

"Sally and I were brought to Texas 16 years ago to pull together a football program that was divided. With a lot of passion, hard work and determination from the kids, coaches and staff, we did that. We built a strong football family, reached great heights and accomplished a lot, and for that, I thank everyone. It's been a wonderful ride. Now, the program is again being pulled in different directions, and I think the time is right for a change. I love The University of Texas, all of its supporters, the great fans and everyone that played and coached here. I can't thank DeLoss Dodds enough for bringing our family here, and Bill Powers and the administration for supporting us at a place where I have made lifelong friendships. It is the best coaching job and the premier football program in America. I sincerely want it to get back to the top and that's why I am stepping down after the bowl game. I hope with some new energy, we can get this thing rolling again."

From Dallas Morning News' Chuck Carlton:

Texas AD Steve Patterson: "I know this decision weighed heavily on him, and today he told us he’s ready to move forward.”

— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) December 15, 2013

From ESPN's Brett McMurphy:

UT prez Bill Powers: "Mack is an unbelievable resource for us & will always be a valuable member of the Longhorn community"

— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) December 15, 2013

There have been plenty of rumblings over the past few weeks about Brown's future. However, those questions were temporarily put to rest after Brown spoke at the team's banquet Friday evening. 

Brown delivered the night's closing remarks and gave no hint that he was walking away from the Texas program.

During a press conference for the Alamo Bowl, the 62-year-old coach addressed these rumors, per Scott Gleeson of USA Today:

My situation has not changed. I've got the best president in the country in Bill Powers. What we did lose was an iconic athletic director (DeLoss Dodds). We've hired what I think is a great athletic director in Steve Patterson. Any time we have AD changes, it changes the game. I need to sit down with him and Bill in the near future to figure out where the program's going, all get on the same page and move forward.

However, Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman reported that Brown had been discussing his retirement with school officials.

Few can be caught off guard by this decision.

There's no question that with Brown's departure, college football is losing one of the best head coaches of his generation. In his 16 years at Texas, he had a record of 158-47.

Although some may knock Brown's two conference titles, he regularly had Texas among the best teams in the country. The Longhorns had a streak of nine seasons with 10-plus wins between 2001 and 2009, and in all but one of his 16 seasons, the Longhorns made a bowl game.

There was also that incredible 2006 Rose Bowl in which Vince Young took over and delivered Brown his first and only national championship during his time at Texas.

Despite Texas' drop in form during Brown's final years, there's no question he'll be revered for decades to come by Longhorns fans. What's Brown's next move? It doesn't sound like it will be Nebraska according to Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman:

Joe Jamail said he got a call from someone saying he represented Nebraska seeking Mack's interest. "He's not going to Nebraska," JJ said.

— kbohls (@kbohls) December 15, 2013

Now the race is on to name Brown's replacement.

With Texas ranking first in the country in both college football revenue and profit in 2012, the Longhorns can back the Brink's truck up to any coach in the country. Almost nobody is off limits.

Except Nick Saban

Saban agreed to a long-term extension with the University of Alabama on Friday, re-signing with the Crimson Tide for a deal worth $7 million per year.

Now that Saban is a nonstarter, Texas could look toward Art Briles at Baylor. He's got experience in the state and has helped the Bears become one of the best teams in the country.

Should Briles turn the Longhorns down, the school will have no shortage of candidates. Despite its failure to make the BCS in recent years, Texas is one of the most attractive jobs in college football.