Texas football: Mack Brown to North Carolina?
Posted by Berry Tramel
The Oklahoman Sports
The Mack Brown-back-to-North Carolina-as-athletic director theory has bubbled up over the years, but there always were two problems. 1) Mack had a dang good job at which he was very successful; and 2) the Tar Heels had an athletic director.
The problems are lessening. Mack has a dang good job (best in American college football, most say) but the success came to a crashing halt last season, and 2011 seems not much better. And Dick Baddour has announced he will step down as athletic director, in the same week in which Carolina fired football coach Butch Davis.
Talk about your timing.
Could/would/should Brown return to North Carolina? It’s a great question. Some have figured Brown eventually would become the Texas athletic director, but DeLoss Dodds just keeps going and going. No reason to think the Longhorn AD job will be open any time soon.
Now suddenly the AD job is open at Carolina, where Brown coached the Tar Heels for 10 seasons, 1988-97, including 10-win seasons his final two years. And the AD job is not only open, it’s open with the opportunity for the new AD to hire a new football coach. Baddour said he will stay on the job until a new AD is hired but that he wants the new AD to name the new coach.
Which means the upcoming football season could be interesting. If indeed Brown is tired of coaching football at Texas and is interested in returning to Chapel Hill, he would have to declare his intentions fairly quickly so that a new coach could be hired for the Tar Heels in December, to salvage recruiting. It’s possible Brown could coach the Longhorns and announce in late November he’s going to UNC.
I have no inside knowledge of Brown’s desire to go to Carolina or even his desire to be an administrator. But he would be an excellent fund-raiser and would bring groups of people together. That’s what he’s done at Texas, where the Longhorns, despite their 2010 troubles, restored luster to the program unseen since the Darrell Royal heydays.
Another season anything like 2010, and it’s easy to picture Mack ready to step aside. I don’t think he would ever be in any serious trouble. He’s done too much for the program. But another discouraging season, which led to massive staff overhaul, would make anyone question their stamina.
Carolina is in many ways an underachieving football program. The right leader could go in there and win in moderation and be hailed as a messiah. UNC has averaged 5.5 wins per year since Mack left.
Heck, I guess it’s not totally out of the question that Brown would consider going back as football coach. Sometimes building a program is funner than maintaining a program. But I doubt Brown would do that.
If he’s got any administrative aspirations, Carolina seems like a logical place. And the time seems now, in 2011.