Brown taps McWhorter as new assistant

<B>Mack Brown</B> didn't waste any time filling the vacancy left by the departure of TE coach <B>Tim Brewster</B> to the NFL. At the end of the state-mandated five day job posting period, Texas announced late Thursday afternoon the hiring of one-time Georgia Tech interim head coach and long-time offensive line coach <B>Mac McWhorter</B>.

McWhorter will coach the offensive tackles and tight ends under an offensive staff realignment Brown announced earlier this week. Former OL coach Tim Nunez will now coach just the guards and centers. Wide receiver coach Darryl Drake will pick up some passing game TE coaching duties.

As with most other members of the UT staff, McWhorter brings head coaching experience to his new assistant job on the Forty Acres. In his single game as Georgia Tech interim head coach after George O'Leary's ill-fated (and brief) move to Notre Dame, the 28-year coaching veteran led the Yellow Jackets to a 24-14 win over No. 11 Stanford in last December's Seattle Bowl. In between assistant coaching stints at Georgia Tech (from '80-'86 and again in '00 and '01), Alabama, Duke, Georgia, Clemson and Memphis, McWhorter also spent one year as head coach at D-II West Georgia College. While at Georgia in the early and mid 90s, McWhorter worked on the same staff as current Texas O-coordinator Greg Davis and Drake.

For a less media-guide-sounding bio, check out Seattle Times writer Steve Kelley's description of McWhorter after observing the Georgia Tech coach during the Yellow Jackets' time in Seattle: "McWhorter, 51, is the rock-jawed, fair-minded kind of coach that kids love to play for. He has that thick Bear Bryant kind of Southern accent and an aw-shucks kind of humor. He believes in having a good time but expects his players to be accountable when they're on the field. He is Southern-fried fair."

Based on that description, McWhorter and Texas sound like a perfect fit.

"I can't say when I have been more excited," McWhorter said Thursday. "It is a great honor to have the opportunity to join this staff. It is fun to renew relationships with Coach Davis and Coach Drake. Coach Brown is one of the most respected head coaches in the country and the stature of The University of Texas is known nationwide. My family and I are tremendously pleased and excited to be Longhorns."

McWhorter is the second coach Brown has hired since assembling his original staff back in late '97 and early '98. Early last year, DB coach Everett Withers, like Brewster this year, took the leap to coaching at the pro level. Brown lured Duane Akina away from Arizona to fill Withers' spot, laying the foundation for a subtle but significant shift in defensive philosophy last fall that resulted in a Longhorn defense that led the nation in yardage allowed. Brown hinted Thursday that he hopes the McWhorter hire will create a similar tweaking in offensive philosophy and production.

"While we place a big value on the consistency of our staff, it is exciting to bring in high-quality people such as Mac who provide new energy and ideas," the UT head coach said. "We saw that with Duane Akina last season and we expect the same with Mac. He has everything we want in a coach. He has been involved as a head coach, as a recruiting coordinator, as a high school coach and been in big games throughout his career. When you've coached and played in the Georgia/Florida and Alabama/Auburn games, you understand the importance of football at this level."

Many observers, including the Yellow Jacket players that chanted "We want Mac" after their bowl victory, believed that Georgia Tech should have removed the "interim" from the Atlanta native's title as "interim head coach" rather than hire the more glitzy Chan Gailey. The Ramblin' Wreck's loss has turned into the Longhorns' gain.

Click here for more on McWhorter's recruiting abilities.

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