Thoughts on Mack's Extension

Here are five thoughts on Mack Brown's contract extension, which runs until 2020.

1) Be careful with the "can coach here as long as he wants" talk. If there's been one thing apparent over the course of the last five years, it's that all coaches have a shelf life. And a comparison for Brown could probably be found in Bobby Bowden in terms of their roles as CEOs, recruiting closers and coaches who aren't afraid to delegate to younger assistants. Bowden fell off, and Brown can too. But Brown isn't that close to where Bowden was, when Bowden had so many more years on him. And Brown's coaching/CEO work this past year showed that he's willing to implode everything to succeed. Having said all that ...

2) If you think Brown is still going to be coaching at Texas in nine years, I have some oceanfront property in Kansas to sell you. It's not that he'll be run off by then. But Brown never struck me as a coaching lifer. He has other fish to fry, and he's the type of person who wants to spend time with his family. That's an admirable trait … but not an easily sustainable one as a football coach. Here's guessing that Brown "retires" well before then, likely to a studio announcing job. At the same time …

3) This announcement was necessary to head off negative recruiters. And that's what this was about: giving Brown a rebuttal to increasing rumor-spreading about his limited longevity in Austin. The Longhorns are close enough to being at a national-title level in terms of talent that the main question on recruits' minds is simply this: will Mack be around by the time I finish up? Of course, that's a doubt planted by rival coaches, but it's also somewhat of a legitimate concern. This contract helps to assuage those concerns.

4) People have already started asking about why he needs an extension after going 13-12 over the last two years. But the people that ask that are incredibly short-sighted. You'd have to be nuts to not notice that this year was a major step forward from 2010's results. Only injuries kept these Longhorns from winning 10 games, and the staff changes showed a strength in Mack's character: a willingness to adjust. Add in the bang-up job the Longhorns are doing on the recruiting trail, and Texas is on the upswing.

5) Don't sweat the money. There weren't any changes to his salary, but even if there were, Brown presides over the most profitable football program in America, one that he doesn't get nearly enough credit for building. Overall, the Longhorn athletic department brings in more than $100 million per year. And as the chief architect of the biggest portion of that (and the reason Texas was able to sign a $300 million deal with the Longhorn Network), a little over $5 million is an absolute bargain.

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