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Dotson Lewis' Blog

Mack Brown - A Class Act


Dotson’s note: I first met Mack Brown when he was an assistant coach at the University of Oklahoma. I had the privilege of getting to know him very well when he served on the NCAA Football Rules Committee while he was the Head Football Coach at the University of North Carolina.  He is one of the very few college football coaches who kept his promises to the players he recruited. When a player was injured and could not play Coach Brown kept him on scholarship. The following are some facts of which you may not be aware.

The storied tenure of University of Texas head football coach Mack Brown will end at the conclusion of this season. Brown announced Saturday he will step down from his position following the Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30.

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Mack Brown visiting a US military hospital in Germany

 

 

 

Outside of football

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Brown's wife, Sally, in April 2009

Mack Brown is married to his wife, Sally. They have 4 children: Matt Jessee, Katherine Ryan, Barbara Wilson, and Chris Jessee.

In Austin, the Browns are active in community affairs, serving as honorary co-chairpersons of the Capital Campaign for the Helping Hands of Austin. The Browns have been instrumental in the opening of The Rise School of Austin (an early childhood education program that integrates children who have disabilities with their typically developing peers) and serve on the school's Board of Directors. They lent their name along with legendary UT QB James Street to the First Annual James Street/Mack Brown Golf Tournament benefiting The Rise School.

The Browns have endorsed a new Texas license plate, which is designed to raise public awareness for child abuse and neglect and the need for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteers. After the Aggie Bonfire tragedy at Texas A&M in 1999, the couple initiated a blood drive on the UT campus that attracted more than 250 blood donors.

In October 2006, Mack Brown made a cameo appearance in the television pilot for Friday Night Lights. Early in the show, a resident is heard to say "Who does Coach Taylor think he is? Mack Brown? He's no Mack Brown." Later in the pilot, the real Mack Brown plays the role of a local football booster quizzing high school coach Eric Taylor on his pre-game preparation.

 He appears in commercials for College Game Day where he sings "Texas Fight" with the Game Day crew; when Kirk Herbstreit freestyles the song; Brown looks at Herbstreit sternly and says "We don't freestyle 'Texas Fight,' big boy."

 

 

Inside Football

One of the most respected coaches in the college game, Brown has served on numerous national committees, including currently serving as president of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), which he was named in January 2013. Brown also has served on the AFCA Ethics Committee and the AFCA Public Relations Committee. He has been a member of the NCAA Football Rules Committee and the NCAA Football Issues Committee. He has been chairman of the Football Coaches' Committee and a member of the Board of Directors of the College Football Association. He has been invited to coach in five postseason all-star games, including the Japan Bowl, Hula Bowl (twice) and East-West Shrine Game (twice).

One of just two active coaches in the nation to reach the 225-victory plateau, Brown is in his 16th season at UT with a mark of 158-47 (.771). His victory total with the Longhorns is second only to legendary coach Darrell K Royal (167-47-5 record from 1957-76).

Texas somewhat resembled a dumpster fire the decade leading up to the Mack Brown era, but Brown extinguished the blaze.

He honored the celebrated tradition of Texas football and reunited legendary coach Darrell Royal—who was stiff-armed by McWilliams and Mackovic—with the program. Brown also rekindled the union with the Texas lettermen by organizing the annual Mike Campbell Letterman's Golf Tournament and welcomed lettermen to attend practice.

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Brown in 1998.

One of Brown's most significant moves was rebuilding the relationship with Texas high school football coaches, a move that has helped the Longhorns bolster their in-state recruiting throughout his 16-year tenure.

"Mack Brown won over the Texas high school coaches early in his career," said McNeil High School coach Jack Estes. "Mack never acts like he is better than you. He has done things that us high school coaches haven't been able to do. But, out of all of the college coaches I have talked to in my career, Mack makes me feel more like an equal than anyone else."

Brown brought dignity back to Texas and reminded fans to come early, be loud, stay late and wear burnt orange with pride.  All of the time and legwork spent rebuilding Texas' brand paid off as the Longhorns returned to dominance on the gridiron.

"I love The University of Texas, all of its supporters, the great fans and everyone that played and coached here," Brown said. "I can't thank (former athletics director) DeLoss Dodds enough for bringing our family here, and (UT president) 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."


Dotson’s note: Coach Brown will be missed by all those who participate in football at every level in Texas. Your thoughts/concerns are welcome, please call the Benchwarmers (ESPN 1440 Keys) 361-560-5397, (Mondays through Fridays 4-6 pm) or Dotson (361-949-7681) or Email: dlewis1@stx.rr.com     

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