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AUSTIN Saying it was his decision to step down, Mack Brown resigned as the head football coach at Texas with the same grace and integrity for which he prided himself while leading the program for 16 years.

Brown said athletic director Steve Patterson and university president Bill Powers both wanted him to stay. But the negativity surrounding Brown's job status and the possibility of fracturing the fan base and the community ultimately led to his decision to resign.

Brown noted how divided the fan base was when he arrived in December 1997. Former Longhorns coach Darrell Royal compared it to picking up a bunch of BBs that had fallen on the floor.

Brown said he unified the fan base and the community, and did not want to see it fracture again.

'I sincerely want what's best for the University of Texas,' Brown said.

Since playing for the BCS national title following the 2009 season, Texas has gone 5-7, 8-5, 9-4, and they're 8-4 this year with one game left against Oregon.

Brown said that when the Longhorns won nine games in 1998, they threw a parade. Now, nine wins isn't enough.

But he isn't upset; he said he understands that expectations change and it's the staff's job to keep up with those.

'I want to make sure everyone knows I was treated fairly,' Brown said. He also told his players they shouldn't be mad at the university. 'This was my decision,' he said.

Brown said he won't be involved in the search for his successor; president Bill Powers said that decision will be up to the new athletic director, Steve Patterson.

Powers and Patterson both said they haven't talked to any potential candidates yet (including Alabama coach Nick Saban, before he signed his contract extension).

Patterson would not get into the specifics of the criteria he's looking for in the next coach, but when asked about potentially hiring an NFL coach, he said: 'Whoever coaches here will have to have had some extensive experience at the college level.'

As for his future, Brown said only that he will spend the next two weeks trying to figure out how to beat Oregon, and then he will work for Bill Powers. Neither Brown nor Powers specified what role Brown will have with the university going forward.

Asked about his legacy, Brown said: 'I want to be remembered for bringing some joy back to Texas and getting us back on track.'

Brown leaves with 158 wins at Texas (second only to Darrell Royal's 167) and 225 in college football, making him the 10th winningest coach in NCAA history.

He can add one to each of those totals if Texas can upset Oregon in the Alamo Bowl on December 30.

E-mail tmadden@wfaa.com

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