Longhorns head coach Mack Brown is banking on 2013 as the year Texas reestablishes itself as a national contender.
“We’re back in a position where we can compete,” Brown told USA TODAY Sports recently. “We’ve got a good quarterback, a better team. Our strength program is in better shape. We’re back in the game, and we should be even better next year. Everything is playing toward us getting back on the national scene. There’s a little edge around here right now, and I’m kind of enjoying the challenge and fight of getting it back.”
After seasons of 5-7, 8-5 and most recently 9-4, Brown has transformed his coaching staff to a younger, more recruiting-oriented group, who conform to the Big 12’s wide-open style of play.
“People have higher expectations of this program,” Brown said. “It’s just the standard. We go from 12-1 to 5-7. You can’t do that, and I did it. But I looked really, really hard and talked to people I trust and made a lot of changes and said, ‘I’m going full-speed ahead.'”
Brown has a National Championship, two Big XII titles and a 10-4 record in bowl games since taking over Texas in 1998. He has two Big 12 Coach of the Year awards (2005,2009), a Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year award (2008) and a Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award (2005).
Brown says he’s not worried about his legacy.
“How do you want to be remembered? I don’t care,” Brown said. “They remember the next guy. They don’t even remember you. It’s fun to have had a Heisman Trophy winner, that’s cool. I thought we should’ve had another one at least, maybe two. It’s fun to have won a national championship. So my life has been so blessed, I’m having fun. I’m not going to be bitter when I get through.”