Is Mack Brown's departure good or bad for UT football?
The reports are true. Mack Brown will resign as head coach of the University of Texas football team.
The Longhorn Network broke the news on Twitter just before 6:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by this official news release from the UT Athletic Department.
Brown, 62, released the following statement:
"Sally and I were brought to Texas 16 years ago to pull together a football program that was divided. With a lot of passion, hard work and determination from the kids, coaches and staff, we did that. We built a strong football family, reached great heights and accomplished a lot, and for that, I thank everyone. It's been a wonderful ride. Now, the program is again being pulled in different directions, and I think the time is right for a change. I love The University of Texas, all of its supporters, the great fans and everyone that played and coached here. I can't thank DeLoss Dodds enough for bringing our family here, and 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."
Recently-hired men's Athletic Director Steve Patterson stated his support and appreciation for the longtime coach.
"He's been a tremendous coach, mentor, leader and ambassador for our university and our student-athletes," Patterson said in a statement. "He is truly a college football legend."
UT president Bill Powers, a longtime supporter of Brown's career, again echoed his support and admiration for Brown in the following statement:
"This is a very difficult day for everyone in The University of Texas family. Mack Brown one of the best football coaches in the country, a tremendous representative of our university, and, most importantly, a great friend. He has produced championship teams with tremendous student-athletes and has always done so with the utmost class and integrity. Mack is just the best and he will be missed. With that said, I'm excited for the future and the opportunity to work with him in a new capacity for the years to come and am thrilled that he and Sally will remain part of our family. He is an unbelievable resource for us and will always be a valuable member of the Longhorn community."
The Longhorn Network said Brown informed his team and recruits of his decision to step down, and that Brown will coach one final game as the Longhorns face Oregon in the Valero Alamo Bowl on December 30.
The school scheduled a news conference for 1 p.m Sunday.
Brown's future at UT has been the source of rumors for months. Earlier this week, a report by Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com cited "high-level sources" who said Mack Brown would step down by the end of the week, but the coach said Thursday that his "situation has not changed."
Brown took the helm at Texas in 1998 and resurrected the program, leading the Longhorns to a pair of national championship appearances, including a national title in 2005 when the Vince Young-led 'Horns beat USC.
Brown's turn-around job included nine straight 10-win seasons starting in 2001, and another national championship appearance against Alabama in 2009.
His record is 158-47 at Texas, but 30-20 over the last four seasons, including 19-17 in the Big 12 conference.
The question now, of course, is: Who will replace Mack Brown?
Alabama's Nick Saban appears to be out of the picture after signing a contract extension with that school.
The possible short list includes Vanderbilt's James Franklin; Jimbo Fisher of Florida State; and Stanford coach David Shaw.
KVUE and the Associated Press contributed to this report