Updates from Thursday, July 24
Former college football coaches Mack Brown and Butch Davis have joined ESPN as college football analysts, primarily working on the network’s Saturday studio programming, it was announced today by Mark Gross, ESPN senior vice president, production and remote events. Additionally, both will contribute college football commentary across multiple ESPN platforms throughout the year, including SportsCenter, College Football Live, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and more.
Longtime Texas football coach Mack Brown may be stepping away from the gridiron sidelines, but he will reportedly still be around the game as a studio analyst.
Scout.com's Chip Brown reported Sunday that Brown has struck an agreement with ESPN to begin his new job this fall:
Source tells http://t.co/TR56iu4jRp Mack Brown has reached agreement w/ ESPN on a college football studio analyst's role starting this fall.— Chip Brown (@ChipBrownHD) June 2, 2014
Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com wasn't surprised at the development, and The Big Lead's Jason McIntyre feels Brown will excel in the role:
Figured this would happen RT @ChipBrownHD: Source: Mack Brown has reached agreement w/ ESPN on a CFB studio analyst role starting this fall— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) June 2, 2014
He'll do well RT @ChipBrownHD: Mack Brown has reached agreement w/ ESPN on a college football studio analyst's role starting this fall— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) June 2, 2014
Chuck Carlton of The Dallas Morning News cited Brown's prior experience as evidence that he can be a strong contributor to ESPN:
Mack Brown was informed and entertaining on NFL Network analyzing the draft in 2010. Just needs right role, right situation w/ESPN.— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) June 2, 2014
Brown, 62, coached the Longhorns from 1998 through this past season prior to stepping down. Since succeeded by ex-Louisville coach Charlie Strong, Brown looked back on his time at the helm in announcing his decision in December 2013, per ESPN.com news services:
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 ... It is the best coaching job and the premier football program in America.
That change now seems to include Brown sticking around the game he loves, while providing his expert opinion. With considerable schematic knowledge, insider's insight and a calm demeanor in front of the media as the leader of such a marquee college football program, all the elements are present for Brown to thrive as a TV analyst.
Known as a spectacular recruiter, it makes sense that Brown was able to secure a job so quickly. Persuasion is at the heart of landing the best players in the country, so Brown should offer plenty of well-supported analysis. If coaching is in the cards again someday, this is a great way for Brown to remain in the spotlight while staying sharp.
If Brown fares as well as he figures to on TV, though, this could be a long-term gig at ESPN where he becomes a fixture in the network's exceptional coverage of one of the most compelling sports in the U.S.