AUSTIN (CBS SPORTS) – The problem with replacing Mack Brown at Texas is finding another Mack Brown.
In 1998, when Texas zeroed in on North Carolina’s 47-year old coach, there were desperate times. The product and the brand had diminished. The aloof and arrogant John Mackovic had driven the program into the ground. Forget not winning enough, Mackovic didn’t work hard enough.
Times were different for coaches. The money wasn’t as good. The profession was less cutthroat. Recruiting hadn’t yet gone underground, dominated by unscrupulous, shadowy figures. The boosters, fans and media would give you a longer leash.
Brown’s career was trending up back then — six bowl appearances, a .600 winning percentage to go along with a winning personality. Upon arrival here, he righted a wounded program with class and diligence. Coach February was born. The nickname emerged from his boffo recruiting efforts that fueled a dormant giant.
Under Brown, Texas has nine 10-win seasons and has earned seven top-10 finishes. Under Brown, Texas jumped Notre Dame to become second all-time in victories. The man himself is 16 wins short of Darrell Royal’s school record for wins. On Saturday, with prospects supposedly dim, the third-largest crowd in school history showed up.
It’s more than ironic in these troubled Longhorns times that Texas needs the next Mack Brown. They need another established calming influence. They need a young Mack.
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