December 16, 2013

College Roundup: By setting bar high, Texas coach may have sealed his fate

From staff and news services

AUSTIN, Texas — For a decade, Mack Brown and the Texas Longhorns won more games than almost any other program in the country.

It was the inability to meet those lofty expectations over the last four years that pushed Brown to resign after 16 years, ending an era that included a national championship following the 2005 season.

“The standard is really high here,” Brown said Sunday at a campus news conference. “We set a standard at this place. You’d better win all of them. I understand that. ... The standard is really high here and I’m proud of being part of setting that standard.”

From 2000-09, Brown’s teams averaged more than 10 wins a season, captured two Big 12 titles, won a national title and played for another. But the program dipped sharply to 5-7 in 2010, Brown’s only losing season, and the Longhorns have lost at least four games for four consecutive years.

Brown’s final game will be the Dec. 30 Alamo Bowl against Oregon.

Brown was under contract until 2020 with a salary at more than $5 million per year. He will stay on as a consultant to President Bill Powers, a role that his current contract stipulates would pay him up to $500,000.

Texas had expected a return to championship form this season, but a 1-2 start ignited months of speculation that Brown would retire or be forced out. Texas rallied with six straight wins, then dropped two of its last three games. A chance to win the Big 12 title was lost to Baylor in the finale.

Brown met with Powers and Athletic Director Steve Patterson on Friday. Brown said both told him he could stay, but after sleeping on it and talking it over with his wife, he decided it was the right time to resign.

“I felt like I could stay,” Brown said. “I really felt like it wasn’t best for the university to stay.”

Powers said he was not pressured by regents to help push Brown out of the job.

“I was not given any direction at all from any regent,” Powers said. “This is the transition of one of the great football coaches in the country.”

Brown said he hoped he would be remembered for “bringing joy to Texas” and doing it with integrity. Asked if he had any regrets, Brown said the only ones were the death of player Cole Pittman in 2001 and the 1999 accident with the Texas A&M bonfire that killed 12.

FLORIDA: Quarterback Tyler Murphy, who started six games for the Gators, announced he’s leaving to play his senior year elsewhere.

He joins freshman Max Staver as quarterbacks who have left the program after Coach Will Muschamp fired offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis.

Murphy, who graduated Saturday and can play right away at another school, completed 60.5 percent of his passes for 1,216 yards, with six touchdowns and five interceptions.

ARMY: Coach Rich Ellerson was fired after five seasons with a 20-41 record and no victories against Navy.

The Black Knights finished their 3-9 season with a 34-7 loss to Navy on Saturday.

NORTH DAKOTA STATE: Assistant Coach Chris Klieman is being promoted to head coach, succeeding Craig Bohl, who is leaving for Wyoming.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

NORTHEASTERN 81, MAINE 55: Jewel Tunstull scored 21 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for the Huskies (5-3) as they opened with a 12-0 run and never trailed in a win over the Black Bears (5-5) in Boston.

Maine was led by Liz Wood with 13 points and nine rebounds. Sophie Weckstrom added 12 points on four 3-pointers.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

(2) SYRACUSE 68, ST. JOHN’S 63: C.J. Fair and Tyler Ennis each scored 21 points, and the Orange (10-0) outlasted the Red Storm (6-3) at Madison Square Garden.

(10) VILLANOVA 73, LA SALLE 52: Darrun Hilliard scored 21 points and the host Wildcats improved to 10-0.

POSTPONED: The UMaine vs. UMaine-Presque Isle game in Orono was postponed because of weather.

MEN’S SOCCER

NOTRE DAME 2, MARYLAND 1: Andrew O’Malley and Leon Brown led Notre Dame to its first NCAA title, scoring in a 2-1 victory over Maryland at Chester, Pa.

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