FOX Sports Southwest’s Lesley McCaslin recently sat down with Mack Brown before the Texas Longhorns football coach was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Brown reflects on the induction ceremony and his career at Texas in this exclusive interview that’s part of a Texas Sports Hall of Fame television special airing on FOX Sports Southwest and shared with ScoreBoard.
McCaslin: Where do you rank your induction into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame among the many accolades you’ve received?
Brown: It’s really humbling and I’m very honored. You go back and look at the other Texas coaches who are in the Hall – Blair Cherry, Mr. Bible, Coach Royal. It’s very special to have your name mentioned with those three men who coached at the University of Texas.
McCaslin: How special was the induction?
Brown: It really takes you back. It’s overwhelming when you start looking at the names of people who have been inducted. I wouldn’t have ever thought of some of the names that are in this group. And then to know that Earl Campbell, Roosevelt Leaks, Tommy Nobis, James Street all came with Coach Royal made it a special night.
McCaslin: What did it mean to you to have so many people who you’ve looked up in attendance?
Brown: It’s unbelievable. Your faith, your friends and your family are about all you have as you get older. That’s really, really important to me. When I heard that John David Crowe, R.C. Slocum, Spike Dykes, Gene Stallings, Grant Teaff and Emory Bellard’s widow would be here, it made it a special night. It’s probably the first time in my life that I’ve been able to reflect on an era. This was a great night to say thank you to all of them.
McCaslin: How did you get your start in coaching?
Brown: It started because I didn’t have any choice. My dad was a high school coach and then a principal and superintendent. My granddad was the winningest high school coach in Middle Tennessee history. He was the superintendent while I was in high school. My older brother wanted to go into coaching. So I don’t think we had any choice. It was in our blood. After my dad and granddad got out of the school business they owned a sporting goods store so we’ve been in sports and education our whole lives.
McCaslin: What makes coaching at Texas so different from other schools?
Brown: The people and the passion. What is perceived as national pressure from the Texas fan base is really pride. When you learn that it makes it more special to coach here because you want to please them. You want them happy. You want to see them smile. And nobody enjoys a good football game more than Texas fans.
McCaslin: Can you pick one favorite moment or special highlight from your career at Texas?
Brown: I really can’t. Whether it’s Ricky Williams breaking the national rushing record and winning the Heisman. Whether it’s Vince Young scoring with 19 seconds left in the Rose Bowl (to win the 2006 National Championship game over USC). Whether it’s beating Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl or beating Ohio State in The Horseshoe or playing Michigan in the Rose Bowl. There are so many great games. That’s what makes this so special. All of those were about a team. I really feel like I’m here and we’re using my name just to say thank you because it’s been a fun run and a good run for the last 14 years. We’re looking forward to many more, but this was a great opportunity to stop, pause and say thanks guys it’s been fun.
McCaslin: You’ve mentioned retirement isn’t on you radar. What do you hope to accomplish before your career is over?
Brown: I want us to go back and do what we’ve been doing. I want us to have nice kids that are having a wonderful experience at Texas and are graduating. I hope that their lives are better when they’re finished here than when they got here. We’re sending out men that are more mature at the end than at the beginning. And I want us to have a lot of great games and have fun and have some wonderful wins because I like to see them smile.