Once at Texas, Brown coached a Heisman Trophy victor in Ricky Williams, then another Heisman finalist - Vince Young - led the Longhorns to a 13-0 season in 2005 that ended with a win against USC in a Rose Bowl classic for the national title.
Brown led a lengthy period of success with the Longhorns, including winning the 2005 BCS national title in the infamous Rose Bowl game against USC.
The former Longhorns' head coach revealed in his press conference today that he had interviewed for several head coaching positions in recent years. North Carolina finished 10-2 and 11-1 in his final two seasons.
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Efforts by CBS Sports to reach Brown and athletic director Bubba Cunningham this morning were unsuccessful.
UNC recently let head coach Larry Fedora go after the loss to the in-state rival NC State Woflpack in disappointing fashion in overtime in Week 13. Fedora had a 45-43 mark across seven seasons with the Tar Heels, a tenure that was highlighted by an 11-win season and ACC Coastal championship in 2015 and the rewriting of almost every offensive record in program history. ESPN analyst Tom Luginbill also said on Sirius XM Radio "Mack Brown will be the head coach for a second tenure at North Carolina".
That "new direction", we know now, is a return to the past. Brown seemed to be content in retirement after a very long coaching career that ended after the 2013 campaign with Texas football. Brown, 67, is two years older than new Kansas coach Les Miles but nonetheless going to be tasked with the same kind of challenge.