Sitting in front of reporters on Sunday, Texas coach Mack Brown confirmed what many had written about him for days, weeks, months and, in some cases, years.
It was time to move on.
Following up on Saturday's announcement that he would be resigning, the Longhorns coach of 16 years held a press conference to explain why he was stepping down. Brown, along with university president Bill Powers, made it clear that the decision was his and his alone.
"I want to make sure everyone knows that I was treated fairly," Brown said, via Chip Brown of OrangeBloods.com. "I was told I could stay, but I don't think it's best that I stay."
Whether anyone believes that or not is up to them. Conjecture about Brown's future filled so much of the past week that it was difficult to know what really went on behind closed doors.
OrangeBloods.com reported early last week that Brown was stepping down, though theories varied about whether it was by Brown's own accord or at the command of the university's board of regents. Adding to that ambiguity was Powers' refusal to directly answer a question about Brown's buyout—a number that could reveal whether he resigned or was fired.
In the opinion of Dan Wolken of USA Today, Mack's press conference carried a tone that indicated this is not how Brown envisioned his time as head coach ending:
This doesn't seem like a retirement press conference. This seems like a proud man who is deeply wounded by how this ended.— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) December 15, 2013
However it all went down, Brown was nothing short of professional on Sunday. As George Schroeder of USA Today opined, that's how Brown has always conducted himself.
Texas news conference was so Mack, all the way. Finished with class.— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) December 15, 2013
Brown has been criticized for many things over the past few years. His ability to coach and recruit has come into question. He's made a couple of poor hires, including former defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, that have cost him.
The end of an era can sometimes come down to a few things that didn't work out.
But the one thing that can't be touched is Brown's personality. He's always been polite and gracious with his time. Current players adore him; former players love coming back to Austin. From what most can gather, Brown ran what looked like a clean program.
In short, Brown always came across as a good guy who genuinely cared about others. He was full of cliches and coachspeak, sure, but if those were Brown's biggest faults, then so be it.
That doesn't mean it wasn't time for Brown and Texas to part ways. By Brown's own admission, the program wasn't at the level it needed to be, and the negativity surrounding it was too much to overcome. Sixteen years in the same place will do that.
Texas needs new life. The upcoming days and weeks that determine who will be the 'Horns' new coach will undoubtedly be fascinating to watch.
As for Brown, who knows what his future will bring? Maybe he ends up in television; maybe he lands another coaching job.
"In time, I will tell my story," Brown said, via Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman. "I may even write a book."
Or maybe someone will write a book about Brown. Maybe it will mention his 158 wins at Texas, leaving him a mere nine behind Longhorns coach Darrell Royal for the most in school history. Maybe it will mention the 58 players drafted into the NFL under Brown, or all the award winners and All-Americans who have played under him.
Brown did a lot for Texas as a coach and an ambassador. In time, both will be remembered equally.
Ben Kercheval is the lead writer for Big 12 football. All quotes obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise. You can follow Ben on Twitter @BenKercheval.