Mack Brown was reportedly forced out of his job as Longhorns head coach by the university president and Texas regents. Yahoo’s Pat Forde reports that regents put pressure on University of Texas president Bill Powers to replace Brown, at the expense of his own job.
Rather than doing the deed himself, Powers directed new athletic director Steve Patterson to make the move, who then negotiated Brown’s forced resignation.
It’s a sordid tale for one of the game’s most revered figures. According to Forde, the decision to remove Brown was a swift 180 from earlier in the week.
The entire time Brown denied his job was in trouble, he reportedly had the support of both Powers and Patterson. The vote of confidence was so strong that Powers urged Brown to announce his 2014 return at the team’s end of the year banquet. After the ceremony, the president reportedly told the coach: ”I’m so glad you’re staying.”
A day after the banquet, Brown ate breakfast with recruits and then had a positive meeting with Patterson. The two discussed how to improve the department, as well as their future working relationship, among other things. Nearly an hour after the meeting, Patterson called Brown with a completely different tone: the coach needed to resign. The orders were sent down from above.
In a matter of hours, Mack Brown went from planning the Texas Longhorns’ future, to cleaning out his office.
Brown was sacrificed so an embattled university president could keep his job. As the week unfolded he appeared to pass from defiance, to delusion, to triumph, to senility. All the while, he carried the reverence of his peers.
Mack Brown deserved better.