Legendary Texas head football coach Mack Brown will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2018, it was announced on Monday by the National Football Foundation. He will be the 22nd Longhorn all-time inducted into the Hall of Fame, joining two other coaches in Dana Bible (1937-46) and Darrell Royal (1957-76).
Nineteen Longhorn players have been inducted, including Hub Bechtol (1944-46), Earl Campbell (1974-77), Doug English (1972-74), Chris Gilbert (1966-68), Jerry Gray (1981-84), Johnnie Johnson (1976-79), Malcolm Kutner (1939-41), Bobby Layne (1944-47), Roosevelt Leaks (1972-74), Bud McFadin (1948-50), Steve McMichael (1976-79), Tommy Nobis (1963-65), James Saxton (1959-61), Harley Sewell (1950-52), Jerry Sisemore (1970-72), Mortimer “Bud” Sprague (1923-24), Harrison Stafford (1930-32) and Ricky Williams (1995-98).
Brown joined the ESPN set inside of Mercedes Benz Stadium on Monday morning for the announcement, representing the class and sharing his thoughts on induction. He will also participate in the coin toss on the field prior to kickoff of the CFP Championship between Alabama and Georgia.
“As a lifelong fan of college football and having attended the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame event so many times over the years, this is an honor I could never have imagined and absolutely a dream come true,” said Brown.
“It’s very difficult to put into words what it means to me and my family,” he continued. “When Steve Hatchell gave me the news, so many wonderful memories flashed through my head going all the way back to my Granddad and Dad introducing me to the sport I would fall in love with decades ago. To have been blessed to play the game for many years, then continue as a coach for 40 years, I was so fortunate to work with thousands of unbelievable student-athletes and amazing staff members. It was absolutely a labor of love. Now to be able to represent so many tremendous people as a member of the College Football Hall of Fame is a tribute to a lot of great teamwork. In 30 years as a head coach, everything we were able to accomplish as a program was because of everyone involved and all of their hard work, passion and determination. I’ll humbly and proudly accept this for all of us. It’s truly a special honor and one that my family and I will forever cherish.”
Brown compiled a career coaching record of 244-122-1 (.666) in 30 seasons as a head coach, including the last 16 at Texas. His 244 wins are the 10th most in NCAA history by a coach with at least 10 years at an FBS school. When he left Texas, he was one of only two coaches nationally at the time to have directed teams to 21 bowls in the previous 22 seasons and the only one to have 23 winning seasons in his last 24 years. His 225 wins overall from 1990 to 2013 were the most nationally.
“What Mack Brown did for Texas Football is unbelievable,” UT Vice President/Athletics Director Chris Del Conte said. “When you think of all the accomplishments he’s had, and to add to that getting inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, it’s a testament to him, his coaches and his student-athletes. When you have the 16-year career he had here at The University of Texas, it was second-to-none. He is truly an icon in the history of college football and a Longhorn legend.”
At Texas, Brown led the Longhorns to a mark of 158-48 (.767), second only to Darrell Royal’s 167 wins in school history. He was named the 2008 Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year and the 2009 Big 12 Coach of the Year, in addition to the 2005 Paul “Bear” Bryant National Coach of the Year award winner after guiding the Longhorns to the 2005 National Championship.
Under Brown, Texas won nine of its last 12 bowl games during his tenure and had a 10-5 record overall, including a UT record streak of 12 consecutive bowl appearances. The 10 bowl wins give Brown the most in Texas history, surpassing Royal’s eight. In addition, the streak includes a BCS National Championship, another BCS National Championship Game appearance and three BCS bowl wins.
“From the time we met and talked to him about coming to Texas, we knew he was absolutely the right man for the job, and he certainly didn’t disappoint,” former Men’s Athletics Director Deloss Dodds said. “His accomplishments and records are many, as are the tremendous young men he recruited and developed, but the way he did it, in a first-class manner, is what really stood out. Mack Brown is an absolute treasure. He is a man of great character and integrity and a man that gave so much to The University of Texas and college athletics as a whole. We are so proud of him and excited he’s going into the College Football Hall of Fame. It’s a special day for his family, for the players and coaches who worked with him, and a special day for all of us who know and love him.”
Brown lifted a UT program that managed at least 10 wins just three times in the 16 years prior to his arrival in 1998, but did so nine times in his 16 seasons with the Longhorns. That included a streak of nine straight 10-win seasons that is tied for the second-longest such streak in NCAA history. He also led the Longhorns to a school-best 12 straight nine-win seasons and six seasons of at least 11 wins.
The Horns finished the year ranked in the top 15 in 10 of his final 14 years, which included a string of 10 straight. They also had seven top 10 finishes and five top five rankings. During Brown’s tenure, the Longhorns posted a school-record 162 straight weeks (from 2000-2010) in the Associated Press Top 25. Prior to Brown’s arrival in 1998, the last time Texas had finished the year in the top 10 was 1983. When Brown’s Longhorns climbed to No. 1 in the polls in 2005 it was the first time Texas had been ranked in the nation’s top spot in two decades (1984). In addition, from 1998-2013, Texas led the nation in all-time appearances in the BCS rankings with 103, ahead of both Oklahoma (100) and Florida (92).
During his 16 seasons in Austin, the Longhorns featured a Heisman Trophy winner, two runners-up and a third-place finisher, three Maxwell Award winners, three WCFF Player of the Year Award winners, two Doak Walker Award winners, two Thorpe Award winners, two Nagurski Trophy winners, two O’Brien Award winners, two Hendricks Award winners, a Butkus Award winner, a Lombardi Award winner, two Manning Award winners, two Draddy/Campbell Trophy winners, a Wuerffel Trophy winner, a Disney Spirit Award winner, a FWAA Armed Forces Merit Award winner, 54 All-Americans, 73 first-team All-Big 12 selections, five Big 12 Offensive Players of the Year, six Big 12 Defensive Players of the Year and 12 Big 12 Freshman of the Year honorees.
In the 30 NFL Drafts during Brown’s time as a head coach, 108 of his student-athletes were selected, and he had a player selected in 28 straight drafts. He had 20 players (16 from UT/four from UNC) selected in the first round in a span of 17 drafts (1998-2014). Over his 16 years at UT, Brown had 71 players selected in the draft with 55 (77.5%) of those coming in the first four rounds.
“Mack is a special, special person, and this is recognition and validation of everything he stands for,” former Men’s Athletics Director and Longhorn Letterman Mike Perrin said. “When you look at what he’s done over his entire career, he’s built championship programs, graduated student-athletes, developed young men on and off the field and mentored numerous coaches. His selection to the College Football Hall of Fame is very deserving, and it’s a real tribute to a man who has lived his life in this profession the right way and accomplished a great deal.”
With all of the success on the field, the primary emphasis remained the same with Brown’s squads — maintaining a high level of achievement in the classroom and in the community. Eighty percent of his players at North Carolina received their degrees and he increased the pace at Texas, while more than a third of his players at Texas regularly earned 3.0 grade point averages and achieved spots on the Big 12 Commissioner’s and Athletics Director’s honor rolls.
Over his final seven years, the success in the classroom reached an all-time high. The Longhorns led the Big 12 in academic all-conference selections in five of his last eight seasons. From 2006-13, UT totaled a league-best 159 Academic All-Big 12 selections, while Kansas was second with 124.
Mack and Sally Brown’s efforts in the community have been significant, as well, with the couple having earned numerous honors for their good works in addition to having served on several charitable boards. Most notable of their current endeavors is a lead role in the annual Mack, Jack & McConaughey event each spring in Austin. MJ&M is a joint fundraising effort in combination with Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey and ACM Award-winning recording artist Jack Ingram. Since the two-day event launched in 2013, the nonprofit has given over $5 million to charitable organizations like CureDuchene, Dell Children’s Medical Center, HeartGift, just keep livin foundation and The Rise School of Austin.
Brown is no stranger to Hall of Fames, as he has been inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame, the Holiday Bowl Hall of Fame and the Longhorn Hall of Honor.