John Adams: Mack Brown still has championship aspirations

John Adams

Good thing Will Muschamp got the head-coaching job at Florida a couple of years ago. He might have grown old waiting for Mack Brown to retire at Texas.

Brown hardly sounds like someone who ever needed a coach-in-waiting, a lucrative role that Muschamp assumed in 2008 to go along with his defensive coordinator’s title. Four years later, Muschamp is laying the groundwork for his third Florida team, and Brown seems happily committed to returning Texas to football supremacy,

The Cookeville native will be honored Saturday as a recipient of the Neyland Trophy, presented annually by the Knoxville Quarterback Club in honor of former Tennessee football coach Gen. Robert Neyland.

It will put Brown in elite company. Bear Bryant, Woody Hayes and Bobby Bowden have all won the award.

Brown, 61, ranks 11th on the NCAA all-time list with 236 victories. And he has averaged just under 10 victories per season in 15 years at Texas, where he won a national championship in 2005.

Retirement was a more relevant topic a few years ago.

“I thought about that,” Brown said. “But I had a knee replacement and feel really good. I want to coach as long as I’m effective and having fun.”

Brown had no grand career plan when he started out. He just knew — like his brother, Watson — that he wanted to coach. Their father coached, and their grandfather, Eddie Watson, was a legendary high school coach in Putnam County.

Brown has been presiding over one of football’s most prominent programs so long, you easily could forget about his circuitous coaching route. None of his previous stops had Texas-size resources. Some of them looked more like career killers.

Take Tulane for instance. He went there in 1985, after three consecutive one-year stints at LSU (quarterbacks coach), Appalachian State (head coach) and Oklahoma (offensive coordinator).

Brown won one game in his first season at Tulane. That accounted for the second worst sports news at the school, which was rocked by a point-shaving scandal in basketball.

Brown was soon thrust into the dual role of football coach and athletic director, and the school was exploring the possibilities of dropping the sport. How’s that for a resume builder?

Although Brown won only 11 games in three seasons, that was enough to impress North Carolina, which offered him another rebuilding job.

Things got worse before they got better. His first two North Carolina teams went 1-10, leaving him with a five-year Division I-A coaching record of 13-43.

“North Carolina promised me five years,” Brown said.

He took the Tar Heels at their word, starting 11

freshmen his first season, and it paid off. His third team finished 6-4-1; his last two teams combined to win 20 of 23 games.

Next stop: Texas, and another rebuilding job.

In the seven seasons before Brown, Texas had averaged fewer than seven victories per year. He proceeded to win nine or more games for 12 consecutive seasons.

In 2010, a year after Texas lost to Alabama, Brown had his first losing season with the Longhorns. Since then, they have improved to 8-5 and 9-4. So he’s in the building mode again, and optimistic about it.

“I think we’ve got another national championship in us,” he said.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

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Comments » 29

volfaninutah writes:

I'll be first... who cares about Texas?

rtrchatt writes:

Brown got "Sabanized" in the BCSNCG and has yet to recover.

SeaBassHauling writes:

Satan got the horns sounds about right....!

arkyvol writes:

coach as "long as he's effective"?

his last three years make fulmer's last three look like saban's last three. he's making antifreeze the most popular drink in texas.

laraccoon writes:

Adams is all over the place in this journalism junk , i guess what i take away from this cr#p is Brown and Muschump can do less with superior recruiting talent .
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLDUFd...

chipmurphy461 writes:

A) Texas A&M is the best college football team in Texas
B) Texas won't win another National Championship for a while
C) Mack Brown will be forced out within the next several years
D) Nice change of pace, but not suited for GoVolsXtra

tovolny writes:

Since Brown won the Neyland Award, somebody needed to say a few words. Mike Strange should have handled this. John Adams wrote this like he was thinking the award was based on Brown's entire coaching career. If I am not badly mistaken, his record at Texas, nowhere else, is why the award was presented to him. Brown, a native Tennessean, has my admiration. Good job Coach Brown.

suggest_removal_4_all_troll_posts writes:

More importantly, Charlie Brown still has aspirations of kicking the football.

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

in response to Johnny_Aint_No_Del_Shofner:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Jeff_Ain't_No_Richmond.

SummittsCourt writes:

I guess JA didn't have any Vols teams to kick while they are down so he decided to write this cra ppy article.

allntl1#565211 writes:

No one does less with more than Mack Brown. Muschamp may surpass him.

arkyvol writes:

in response to Johnny_Aint_No_Del_Shofner:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

why don't you go on shaggybevo.com and try to find somebody who shares your opinion. you may be a while.

murrayvol writes:

in response to volfaninutah:

I'll be first... who cares about Texas?

Ever been to Texas?

murrayvol writes:

in response to tovolny:

Since Brown won the Neyland Award, somebody needed to say a few words. Mike Strange should have handled this. John Adams wrote this like he was thinking the award was based on Brown's entire coaching career. If I am not badly mistaken, his record at Texas, nowhere else, is why the award was presented to him. Brown, a native Tennessean, has my admiration. Good job Coach Brown.

20-3 in his last 2 years at Carolina, a school that didn't really play football until he arrived, ain't bad.

MidTennVol writes:

in response to volfaninutah:

I'll be first... who cares about Texas?

Thank you. The headline made me do a double-take. Adams is obviously off his meds again. The day before the O&W game with dozens of former players in town and he does a piece on...Texas football? This is why so many of us out here just don't bother to read Adams any more...he makes himself irrelevant by focusing on the irrelevant. Thank goodness the KNS has a few decent beat reporters covering the biggest game in town (that would be Tennessee football, Adams.) But they too will eventually leave, like so many before them.

antonio14313 writes:

i think that this article is trying to get UT fans (tennessee, not texas) to be ready for a rough beginning to the coach jones era. it might be rough before it get's better. we could go 6-6 in 2013 (or hopefully better) before we average 10 wins per season in later years. hopefully, unlike coach brown tho, coach jones stays at one place, here, and has great success, HERE, at tennessee, rather than going anywhere else to become extremely successful. GO VOLS.

t

antonio14313 writes:

in response to tovolny:

Since Brown won the Neyland Award, somebody needed to say a few words. Mike Strange should have handled this. John Adams wrote this like he was thinking the award was based on Brown's entire coaching career. If I am not badly mistaken, his record at Texas, nowhere else, is why the award was presented to him. Brown, a native Tennessean, has my admiration. Good job Coach Brown.

this site need more posts like this: CLASSY. nice one. go vols!

t

antonio14313 writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

Thank you. The headline made me do a double-take. Adams is obviously off his meds again. The day before the O&W game with dozens of former players in town and he does a piece on...Texas football? This is why so many of us out here just don't bother to read Adams any more...he makes himself irrelevant by focusing on the irrelevant. Thank goodness the KNS has a few decent beat reporters covering the biggest game in town (that would be Tennessee football, Adams.) But they too will eventually leave, like so many before them.

the writer got his UT's mixed up. ;) go vols!

t

jmaples54 writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

I guess JA didn't have any Vols teams to kick while they are down so he decided to write this cra ppy article.

guess you didn't have a wife, kid or dog to kick while they were down, so you decided to write your typical crappy drivel.

did you not read the mccullers article yesterday?

tovolny writes:

in response to murrayvol:

20-3 in his last 2 years at Carolina, a school that didn't really play football until he arrived, ain't bad.

Have you ever heard of Lawrence Taylor? Did he play Soccer, Rugby, or something for the Tar Heels. I don't believe Mack was there at that time. His last two years at Chapel Hill were good no doubt. I was knocking John Adams and praising Mack Brown. I have a farm just down 15-501 from Chapel Hill. Mack used to keep his old pickup in one of my barns. He and the guy that manages the farm were pretty tight. I never lived there but was there a lot...we miss ole Mack...good guy.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Mack and Watson Brown exude classless operations by accepting athletes like Da'Ropp Rogers after failing to comply with substance abuse issues at UT.. Watson welcomed him with open arms in hopes of 5 minutes of fame at TTU..This to me proves they are both unethical and will forsake the integrity of their university in a heartbeat if it may mean more wins or personal gain. Vince Young played for Brown at Texas (basically won him a title) was probably allowed entry under false SAT scores. His IQ was so low he scored a 6 on the NFL equivalent IQ test for QB's. That in comparison to other drafted QB's was about 10 points behind the lowest scores on average. No way Young would have been qualified to meet the academic demands of a research university like UTA. So, Mack is finally paying for his transgressions and his legacy will end like Fulmer's, simply because his ego won't allow him to let go of the past and admit the game has passed him by.

murrayvol writes:

in response to tovolny:

Have you ever heard of Lawrence Taylor? Did he play Soccer, Rugby, or something for the Tar Heels. I don't believe Mack was there at that time. His last two years at Chapel Hill were good no doubt. I was knocking John Adams and praising Mack Brown. I have a farm just down 15-501 from Chapel Hill. Mack used to keep his old pickup in one of my barns. He and the guy that manages the farm were pretty tight. I never lived there but was there a lot...we miss ole Mack...good guy.

Yes, I've heard of LT. Changed the game a bit as I recall. Didn't say Carolina was bereft of players but they've never had much of a program.

Mack is definitely one of the good guys. He grew up about 70 miles north of my early digs on Daisy Mt. He may win another NC but I doubt it. Texas fans are an impatient lot.

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

Brown got "Sabanized" in the BCSNCG and has yet to recover.

How about the sorority girl that little nickie's daughter "sabanized", has she recovered? How about the kid that got punched in the back of the head and robbed by nickie's thugs, has he recovered? Is that another example of being "sabanized?"

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to lemme_axya_this:

How about the sorority girl that little nickie's daughter "sabanized", has she recovered? How about the kid that got punched in the back of the head and robbed by nickie's thugs, has he recovered? Is that another example of being "sabanized?"

I think the ultimate Sabanizer was that tea-bag dangling loser at Krystal's.

volfaninutah writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Ever been to Texas?

MAtter of fact yes. Lived in Portland and Corpus Christi. Was back there last year on a TDY in San Antonio. Still hot, hot, and I can stand their interstate system. Drove my GPS crazy.

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I think the ultimate Sabanizer was that tea-bag dangling loser at Krystal's.

LOL, I can't believe I forgot that one. Did that guy get some time in the "pokey?"

bkgunter writes:

One of John Adams' most long running man crushes. The guy needed Vince Young's talent and transcendent performance in the NC game to get to the finish line. Never even sniffed an ACC championship at UNC.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to lemme_axya_this:

LOL, I can't believe I forgot that one. Did that guy get some time in the "pokey?"

Yes, he was charged with sexual assault as well as lewd acts of indecency..I believe he will also be registered as a sex offender..I'm not sure on the length of the sentence, but one things for certain, the guy was an idiot.

murrayvol writes:

in response to lemme_axya_this:

How about the sorority girl that little nickie's daughter "sabanized", has she recovered? How about the kid that got punched in the back of the head and robbed by nickie's thugs, has he recovered? Is that another example of being "sabanized?"

Don't forget the "marginal" players that suddenly discovered they really didn't have a scholarship afterall. Yet another example of being "sabanized". You go Nick!

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