Mack Brown addressed the media Sunday afternoon to discuss his decision to step down as head coach of Texas, saying the decision was his and made for the good of the university.
"We've had a great 16 years," Brown said. "Sally said yesterday, 'four presidential terms.' So that's a long time. We have had a blast."
Brown spoke at length about what he felt was his main goal at Texas -- to pull together what he called a "divided fan base."
"I think if you asked me what I wanted to be remembered for, it would be pretty simple," he said. "I want to be remembered for bringing some joy to Texas and raising the standard."
The coach repeatedly spoke about his respect and admiration of Texas coaching legend Darrell Royal, whom he said was "like an older brother" to him. Brown said Royal told him the trick to the Longhorns job was getting the fans back with the program, which he referred to as "getting the BBs back in the box."
Brown said he was unclear about his future role with the program, acknowledging he would coach the team against Oregon in the Alamo Bowl and be available to counsel any players with off-the-field issues in the future. He drew the line short at the search for his replacement, however, unequivocally stating he would not be involved in the coaching search.
"All I know for sure right now is I'm going to be spending two weeks working to beat Oregon," he said.
The coach addressed how the decision to step down occurred, countering rumors that he was forced out.
"I want to make sure everyone knows that I was treated fairly," Brown said. "I was told I could stay, but I don't think it's best that I stay."
School president Bill Powers echoed Brown's statements, saying school regents had nothing to do with the decision.
While Brown said he would not have a role in the search for the next coach, he spoke at length about the high-profile job Texas has to offer.
"This is a top five program annually. It could be the top job in the country, and you should be in the mix every year," he said. "There's great young players on this team, and the future's very bright. We're leaving it better than we found it, and it's been a fun ride."
Powers said rumors of lunches and meetings with Alabama head coach Nick Saban was "unfounded", and athletic director Steve Patterson said the school would have a high standard for potential candidates.
"Whoever is going to coach here needs to have extensive experience in the college game," Patterson said.
Ultimately, Brown said he was able to walk away from the job happy with what he had accomplished over 16 years.
"The standard is set really high here," he said. "And I'm danged proud we were a part of that standard."
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