Brown was a recruiting game-changer

December, 17, 2013
12/17/13
4:00
PM ET

In the heat of the greatest moment of his career, Mack Brown did something remarkably savvy and typical of his dedication to recruiting.

Just moments after lifting the crystal BCS national championship trophy in the Rose Bowl, after beating USC for his first title, Brown was asked what this victory meant to the state of Texas. "What it means to us, been a long time," Brown barked. "There's a lot of passion and a lot of pride. I'm proud of these kids, I'm proud of our coaches -- high school football in the state of Texas. We love our fans and they love it."

High school football in the state of Texas. On the biggest stage of his life, Brown remembered to give a shout-out to the high school coaches who raised his players. The gesture was symbolic of Brown's recruiting philosophy: He was always thinking ahead. No matter how history judges his final years, Brown will go down as a recruiting icon and innovator during his time at Texas.

He cared about recruiting kids who truly wanted to be at Texas. And for most of Brown's tenure, what in-state kid wouldn't?

Step into Brown's office, decorated with leather couches, trophies, rings and endless memorabilia and good luck saying no when the man made his pitch or extended an offer.

"You can't say no to Coach Brown," DeSoto (Texas) High School coach Claude Mathis said. "He does a great job once you get the kids on campus and in the office."

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Max Olson | email

Big 12 reporter

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