We have seen many coaches, in many different sports, make comebacks. Some go well and others do not. Let me tell you about the story of one coach who has come back strong, his name is Mack Brown.
Brown’s first head coaching job was at Appalachian State University, which is located in Boone, North Carolina. That was back in 1983 and in 1984, Mack Brown would serve as an Offensive Coordinator on head coach Barry Switzer’s staff for the Oklahoma Sooners. Oklahoma’s Rushing attack was impressive, running to a tune of 2,376 yards for the season and the team averaged 216 rushing yards per game. One of his running backs that starred was Spencer Tillman.
Brown found his second head coaching job at Tulane. While he was there, he guided the team to a trip to the Independence Bowl. In 1988 Brown would be named Head Coach at North Carolina. Brown’s first two teams finished with very disappointing records. Their records were 1-10 records, they were some of the worst for Tarheel Football. By 1992 it was coming together for North Carolina and Coach Brown. Their record for the regular season was 8-3, second in the ACC and then they defeated Mississippi State in the Peach Bowl. In 1992 we saw more success from Brown’s Tarheels team. Brown led North Carolina to five consecutive Bowl games, includes two New Year’s Day Bowl games. North Carolina was ranked in the AP Top 25, every week from October 1992 through the start of the 1995 season. They would even make the occasional trip in the top 10, thanks to the coaching of Coach Brown. Football was actually becoming more popular and for once the program was not in the shadow of the Basketball team at UNC.
In 1997, Brown went on to become Head Coach of the Texas Longhorns in Austin, Texas. In his early years in Texas, Coach Mack Brown was known as Coach February, due to his ability to get the commitments of high talent recruits. Fast forward to the year 2005, Texas was ranked number 2 behind only USC in the preseason poll. Led by Longhorns QB Vince Young, the Horns had a decisive victory over their bitter Red River Rival, Oklahoma. Texas started the season 5-0 for the first time since 1983. Even after an 11-0 winning season, with National Championship Title hopes, they suffered a heartbreaking loss to Georgia in the Cotton Bowl Classic. Then we take you to the 2006 Rose Bowl Texas and USC were the only two unbeaten teams in NCAA Division 1-A, now the FBS. USC was ranked 1 and Texas Ranked 2. Texas would ultimately win, defeating USC 41-38 the championship game. Texas were National Champions!
After 16 years at Texas, Brown announced he would resign as Head Coach. He would work as an analyst for ESPN for College Football until November of 2018. Mack Brown would make his return as Head Coach for the North Carolina Tarheels. He was back in Chapel Hill once again. Those Tar heels have started out, as a team revived, under Brown. A program that is working on getting back to winning and being better overall. They have beaten South Carolina and Miami. They kept it competitive with Clemson, even though they lost. We’re already seeing improvement from North Carolina. Welcome back to coaching with UNC showing us the importance in The Return of Mack Brown.