Mack Brown will step down as head coach at Texas after leading the Longhorns against Oregon in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30.
The university made the announcement in a statement Saturday, ending weeks of uncertainty and speculation.
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Brown is 158-47 at Texas, No. 2 behind the late Darrell Royal, who won 167 in 20 seasons.
But the last four seasons have been less successful: 30-20 overall, including 19-17 in the Big 12. Though the Longhorns rallied to go 8-4 and had a chance to win the Big 12 until the final week, Brown has been under fire for much of the season after a 1-2 start.
"Sally and I were brought to Texas 16 years ago to pull together a football program that was divided. With a lot of passion, hard work and determination from the kids, coaches and staff, we did that," Brown said in a statement. "We built a strong football family, reached great heights and accomplished a lot, and for that, I thank everyone. It's been a wonderful ride. Now, the program is again being pulled in different directions, and I think the time is right for a change. I love The University of Texas, all of its supporters, the great fans and everyone that played and coached here."
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The announcement comes a day after the Texas football banquet, at which Brown gave no indication of his plans, talking solely about facing Oregon.
"We appreciate everything Mack has done for The University of Texas," athletic director Steve Patterson said in a statement. "He's been a tremendous coach, mentor, leader and ambassador for our university and our student-athletes. He is truly a college football legend. I've had a number of talks with him recently, and he has always said he wanted what was best for The University of Texas. I know this decision weighed heavily on him, and today he told us he's ready to move forward."
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The school scheduled a news conference for 1 p.m. Sunday.
Alabama coach Nick Saban had been identified as a target to potentially replace Brown, and several university regents and a former regent were involved in a meeting with Saban's agent last January to gauge his interest in coming to Texas.
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That door closed Friday night when Alabama announced it had reached "a long-term agreement" for Saban to remain with the Crimson Tide. Alabama didn't release terms of the new deal, which must be approved by the board of trustees.
Saban, who turned 62 on Oct. 31, has led the Tide to three national championships in the past four years. No. 3 Alabama will play Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.
The 62-year-old Brown earns about $5.4 million and is under contract until 2020.
Brown, 244-121-1 overall in 29 years, was one of the most successful coaches in the country from 2001-2009 when he was 101-16, won two Big 12 titles and the 2005 national championship, the Longhorns' first undisputed national title in 36 years. The Longhorns returned to the national championship game in the 2009 season, but lost to Saban's Alabama.
Brown was considered the perfect fit at Texas when the Longhorns hired him to replace the divisive John Mackovic. The affable Brown immediately won over Longhorns fans at his introductory news conference when he flashed the traditional "Hook'em Horns" sign and urged fans to "come early, be loud and stay late."
Mackovic's blazer-polished image never seemed to fit the Texas football personality. In Brown, the Longhorns found a kindred spirit — a boot-wearing Southerner, accent and all, who talked about restoring Texas' swagger.
Brown did what no Texas coach had been able to do for 20 years: unite a fan base that had been split since Royal left after the 1976 season. Brown embraced Royal's legacy to help win over fans aching a return to glory, and just as important, he embraced Texas high school football coaches, immediately establishing a talent pipeline from Texas' rich recruiting fields straight into Austin.
"It is the best coaching job and the premier football program in America," Brown said in his statement. "I sincerely want it to get back to the top and that's why I am stepping down after the bowl game. I hope with some new energy, we can get this thing rolling again."
Key games in Mack Brown's 16 seasons at Texas
Oct. 31, 1998 — Texas 20, No. 7 Nebraska 16: Brown's first win over a ranked opponent and the game that launched running back Ricky Williams toward the Heisman Trophy.
Nov. 27, 1998 — Texas 26, No. 6 Texas A&M 24: Brown's first win over rival Aggies also is the game where Williams breaks the NCAA career rushing record.
Oct: 7, 2000 — No. 10 Oklahoma 63, No. 11 Texas 14: The first of several blowout losses to the Sooners is made worse when Oklahoma goes on to win the national championship in coach Bob Stoops' second season.
Dec. 1, 2001 — No. 9 Colorado 39, No. 3 Texas 37: First-half turnovers by quarterback Chris Simms doom Texas in the Big 12 title game, killing a chance to play for the BCS title.
Jan. 1, 2005 — No. 6 Texas 38, No. 13 Michigan 37: Vince Young's national breakout game and Dusty Mangum's wobbly field goal give the Longhorns their first BCS bowl win.
Jan. 4, 2006 — No. 2 Texas 41, No. 1 USC 38: Young scores the winning touchdown on fourth down. Texas wins first undisputed national championship since 1969.
Nov. 1, 2008 — No. 6 Texas Tech 39, No. 1 Texas 33: Michael Crabtree's touchdown in the final seconds costs Texas a shot at the Big 12 title and maybe the national championship.
Dec. 5, 2009 — No. 3 Texas 13, No. 21 Nebraska 12: Hunter Lawrence's field goal on the final play gives Brown his second Big 12 championship.
Jan. 7, 2010 — No. 1 Alabama 37, No. 2 Texas 21: Quarterback Colt McCoy injured in the first quarter of the BCS title game. Texas loses chance for Brown's second national title.
Sept. 7, 2013 — BYU 40, No. 15 Texas 21: Fan unrest over Brown ignites after Longhorns surrender school-record 550 yards rushing in first loss of 8-4 season.
Contributing: The Associated Press
MACK BROWN'S CAREER AT TEXAS