AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — University of Texas President Bill Powers said Friday he supports coach Mack Brown amid speculation that Brown’s job is on the line after three sub-par seasons and an embarrassing loss at BYU.
Powers spoke briefly with The Associated Press before Saturday’s game against No. 25 Mississippi (2-0). Powers called last week’s 40-21 loss to BYU a “bad week” and says Brown is “trying to fix it.”
Brown fired defensive coordinator Manny Diaz the day after the defeat.
“Mack’s our coach. He gets we had a bad week and he’s trying to fix it,” Powers said.
Powers dismissed the idea that Brown faces a minimum standard of wins or a Big 12 championship to keep his job, saying there have been no discussions about ultimatums for the coach. Brown won the 2005 national championship and is in his 16th year at Texas.
“Mack has my support,” Powers said.
Powers and Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds are key allies for Brown amid growing fan unrest over Texas’ fall from Big 12 powerhouse. Since playing for the national championship at the end of the 2009 season, Texas is 23-17 since 2010, including an 11-9 mark at home.
In an interview with the Austin American-Statesman this week, Dodds said “Mack’s fine.”
Brown is under contract until 2020. He will earn about $5.4 million this year with annual raises built into his contract.
Brown has said he has no plans to retire and said before the season he would not be fired while praising his support from school leadership. He also predicting he has his best team in years, one capable of winning the Big 12 and returning to national prominence. Texas starts its Big 12 schedule next week against Kansas State.
But an embarrassing loss in the second game of the season, where Texas gave up a school record 550 yards rushing, led Brown to fire Diaz and install former assistant Greg Robinson as his defensive coordinator.