Despite a day of conflicting reports, Texas football coach Mack Brown will step down by week’s end, sources said.
FOX Sports 1 Insider Greg Couch, FOX Sports 1 Analyst Jen Engel each confirmed the initial report Tuesday by Orangebloods.com of Brown’s departure. That website reported, citing two unidentified sources, that Brown will announce he is stepping down by week’s end.
The team’s annual banquet is Friday night.
Between the reports of Brown’s pending departure, the day was full of denials.
Texas athletic director Steve Patterson said no decision has been made about the future of Brown. Texas released a statement by Patterson several hours after the Orangebloods.com report.
”We continue to discuss the future of Texas Football,” Patterson said. ”Mack Brown has not resigned. And, no decisions have been made.”
Joe Jamail, Brown’s longtime friend and attorney, told The Associated Press on Tuesday: ”Mack Brown has not resigned.” He said Brown’s future with Texas is still up to the coach.
Horns247.com, a Texas recruiting website, reported that Brown denied the report in a text from Florida, where he was recruiting.
Brown wrote to Horns247: ”I have not decided to step down.”
Texas just completed another regular season that didn’t meet expectations. The Longhorns went 8-4, recovering from a 1-2 start and beating Oklahoma, but still finishing with lopsided late-season losses to Oklahoma State and Baylor.
There has been speculation about Brown’s future in Austin since before the season started, and it became rampant after blowout losses to BYU and Mississippi in September.
Brown fired defensive coordinator Manny Diaz after the BYU loss and replaced him with Greg Robinson. The move seemed to help. The Longhorns played better, and the season peaked with a 36-20 victory against rival Oklahoma in October.
Texas is set to play Oregon in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30.
Longtime Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds announced that he would be stepping down earlier this season. Patterson, formerly the Arizona State AD, was hired to replace him.
The future of another powerful ally of Brown’s could also be decided later this week in Texas.
The University of Texas system Board of Regents is meeting Thursday, and the regents are scheduled to discuss and possibly vote on whether Bill Powers will remain the university president at Texas.
Powers has had a tenuous relationship with the board for several years and is believed to have a slim majority of support among the nine members.
No decision on Brown was expected to come until after Powers’ future at Texas was decided.
Brown is 158-47 in 16 seasons at Texas, including a national championship in 2005 and another BCS title game appearance in 2009. Since that season, the Longhorns are 30-20 overall and 18-17 in the Big 12.
Austin TV station FOX 7 was another outlet to report Brown will leave the Longhorns. An ESPN report indicated Brown is preparing to leave by week’s end. That report, matching the Orangebloods.com report, said Brown did not want to confirm anything before talking to his players.
"This is his decision, but he wants to tell his players and staff and not read it on the internet," a source told ESPN’s Brett McMurphy. "That’s why he reacted strongly to the (Orangebloods.com) report.
"I’d be real surprised if it hasn’t happened by Friday night with the (Texas) football banquet. I think it will be taken care of. It wouldn’t drag on much longer."