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Mack is Back: Brown Returns to Public Spotlight
Updated: Thursday, April 24 2014, 10:55 PM CDT
The red carpet is a place known for its flash bulbs and microphones - two things Mack Brown has managed to avoid since resigning as UT head football coach in December. However, tonight at ACL Live - The Moody Theater for the Mack, Jack & McConaughey Gala, in his first high-profile public appearance since leaving the Longhorns - we were introduced to a more mellow Mack.
"It's a high-stress job, so I'm sure it's been nice to take some time off," said former Longhorns wide receiver Jordan Shipley, who played for Brown from 2006 to 2009.
"He's always had that personality of being laid back with great charisma, he's just really showing it now," added former Longhorns defensive end Brian Orakpo.
His former players are used to making adjustments. But Mack's transition is bigger than merely learning a new offensive or defensive playbook.
"We had a wonderful 16 years," Brown told reporters in his first local TV interview since he resigned. "We had a lot of great memories, won a lot of football games, we are very proud of what we did. When you have change in your life, what you do is you take something that might be anxious to people and turn it into something exciting. So I'm really looking forward to the next phase of my life."
Even if he's no longer the head football coach at Texas and no longer wearing his "T" ring (a tradition instituted by Coach Darrell K Royal and carried on by Mack), the Brown name is still gold in Austin.
"Every day I see another example of the good work that he did for the University of Texas, for the athletic department, for football, for students," stated Doug English, a Texas defensive end from 1971 to 1974 and a National College Football Hall of Fame inductee.
"You come to the University of Texas, you're part of a family," added Matthew McConaughey, 2014 Academy Award winner and co-founder of the Mack, Jack & McConaughey cause. "So a lot of the players feel like they're a part of a family and that's a cool thing. Mack nurtured that when he was here."
Several of the silent auction items at Thursday's gala were from UT's 2005 national championship. McConaughey was in the locker room after Texas beat USC and Mack asked Matt if the BCS title was better than winning an Oscar: something McConaughey hadn't done until last month.
"Matthew said 'Hell no, the national championship is a lot better!'," Mack recalled.
"And I didn't have one then did I?," McConaughey pointed out.
Just another example of how things have changed the past few months.
by Adam Winkler