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Sunday, December 15, 2013
Updated: December 16, 1:52 PM ET
Mack Brown was told he could stay

By Max Olson
ESPN.com

AUSTIN, Texas -- Saying he wanted what's best for Texas, Mack Brown addressed his decision to resign as head coach and what he deemed a "mutual decision" to end his 16-year tenure.

At a Sunday news conference to explain his decision to resign, Brown said UT president Bill Powers and new athletic director Steve Patterson gave him the option to return in 2014. After sleeping on the decision, they met again Saturday and agreed it was time to start over.

"It's time for me to move on and let someone else come in and restart the program," Brown said. "This is a top-five program annually. It may be the best job in the country. You should be in the mix every year.

"It's time for Texas to get back in the mix like we were from '04 to '09. And that was a wonderful run, a lot of fun. We haven't lived up to those expectations since 2010."

He cited negativity and undue pressure surrounding the program for stepping aside and felt he couldn't promise his players or his recruits that he'd be at Texas for the next four years.

"I sincerely want what's best for the University of Texas," he said. "There's just too many distractions, too many negatives out there. And the players and assistant coaches shouldn't have to deal with negatives about me. That's not healthy for our place. This university is so much bigger than any one person."

Brown broke the news to his team Saturday afternoon following its first bowl practice. He'll coach Texas in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30 against No. 10 Oregon, then step away from coaching for the first time since he began his career as a student coach at Florida State in 1973.

During his Sunday address, Brown thanked his players, coaches, fans, bosses, media and everyone else he's dealt with in his 16 years in Austin. He recounted his favorite memories on the job. He admitted he'd gone back and forth in the past week about whether it was time to step down.

Mack Brown
Mack Brown said Sunday that Texas hasn't played up to his standards since 2010.

Brown acknowledged that Texas' 30-20 record since 2010, including an 18-17 mark in Big 12 games, wasn't acceptable by the standards his previous teams had set. While injuries derailed Texas in 2013, he knew 8-4 wasn't good enough.

"I understand that if you don't win all the games here, people are unhappy," Brown said. "Other people love eight wins. This place isn't that way, and I agree with them. I do not think that we lived up to the standard that we have set since 2010. I thought we were going to this year, I really thought we had a chance to make a run, and it didn't happen."

After the bowl game, Brown said he'll remain employed as a special assistant to Powers. According to his contract, that role would pay him up to $500,000 annually. Details of any further compensation for Brown were not immediately available.

Powers said Patterson will be in charge of selecting Texas' next head coach, and they've yet to decide whether a search firm will be hired. He also shot down reports and speculation that Texas pursued Alabama coach Nick Saban in recent months.

"I have had no contact with Nick Saban, his agent or any intermediaries," Powers said. "All of those rumors of lunches and meetings were simply unfounded."

Patterson has not spoken to any candidates for the job and said he has no timeline on a decision. Brown will have no involvement in the search for his replacement.

While Patterson and Powers intend to discuss their criteria for the hire soon, Patterson did acknowledge that Texas' hire will need "extensive" experience coaching in college.

"College football is a different enterprise than the NFL," Patterson said. "There are far different requirements of a college coach."