Happy birthday, Mack Brown

Posted August 27th, 2013


Happy birthday, Mack Brown.

Texas’ head coach turns 62 years old today.

Our present?


This blog: 62 things you should know about Mack.

No. 1: Mack’s first name isn’t Mack. It’s William. Mack is Mack’s middle name.

No. 2: Mack was born in Cookeville, Tenn. Know who else was born there? Former Duke star J.J. Redick.

No. 3: Mack’s not the only football coach in his family. Watson Brown, his older brother, is the head coach of Tennessee Tech, Cookeville’s university that plays in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Golden Eagles are coming off a 3-8 season.

No. 4: Watson Brown has also coached Rice, Vanderbilt and Alabama-Birmingham. Mack has also coached North Carolina, Tulane and Appalachian State.

No. 5: The Browns aren’t the only coaches of note from the town of Cookeville. Jim Carlen — who used to coach Texas Tech, West Virginia and South Carolina from the 1960s to the 1980s — was born there too. His career record was 107-69-6.

No. 6: Mack played running back at Florida State.

No. 7: Mack’s coaching career had him at Florida State (as a student coach, working with receivers), Southern Mississipi (receivers coach), Memphis State (receivers coach), Iowa State (receivers coach, then offensive coordinator), LSU (quarterbacks coach), Appalachian State (head coach, going 6-5), Oklahoma (as Barry Switzer‘s offensive coordinator, where he coached future NFLers Lydell Carr, Steve Sewell and Spencer Tillman), Tulane (as head coach, going 11-23 in three years), North Carolina (where he spent 10 years, going 1-10 in each of his first two seasons before eventually leading the Tar Heels to five straight bowl games) and now to Texas.

No. 8: Mack’s career winning percentage with the Longhorns: .777.

No. 9: Mack has coached teams to a bowl game in 20 of his last 21 seasons.

No. 10: He’s the 28th coach in Longhorns history.

No. 11: Mack went 9-3 his first year at Texas. The Longhorns were 4-7 the season before that.

No. 12: Mack’s first win over a ranked team at Texas? A 20-16 win over No. 7 Nebraska, on Halloween night in Lincoln, 1998. He was 0-2 vs. ranked teams before that — a 49-31 loss at No. 6 UCLA in his second game, and a 48-7 loss at No. 5 Kansas State one week later.

No. 13: Texas has set 137 offensive school records during the Mack era.

No. 14: In Mack’s first 15 years, Texas has lost only 13 road games (regular season). And two of those came in his first three games — the 1998 losses to UCLA and Kansas State.

No. 15: Mack has helped produce an NFL draft pick in the last 28 straight drafts.

No. 16: Three players from his final North Carolina team were drafted among the first 19 overall picks of the 1998 NFL draft — defensive end Greg Ellis (who went No. 8, to Dallas), linebacker Brian Simmons (17th, Cincinnati) and defensive tackle Vonnie Holliday (19th, Green Bay).

No. 17: Mack officially accepted the Texas job on Dec. 4, 1997.

No. 18: Back in 1999, Mack and his wife organized a blood drive on the University of Texas campus to help victims of Texas A&M’s bonfire tragedy. There were more than 250 donors.

No. 19: Mack once had a cameo appearance on Friday Night Lights.

No. 20: Mack is 14-1 in season openers at Texas. That includes the last 13 in a row, too.

No. 21: Starting the season strong is his thing. Mack was 8-2 in season openers at North Carolina, too.

No. 22: Mack’s 50th win as Texas coach came at home against New Mexico State, back in 2003. That game was important for three reasons. First, it was a milestone win for Mack. Second, it also happens to be the last time the Longhorns have played New Mexico State. And third, it was Vince Young’s college debut game.

No. 23: Mack’s career record is 236-117-1. That’s a career winning percentage of .668.

No. 24: Brown, who’s 91-31 in the Big 12, is the conference’s winningest active coach.

No. 25: Mack has led Texas to four BCS bowl games. The Longhorns have won three of them.

No. 26: Mack’s 2005 national championship was Texas’ first in 35 years.

No. 27: In the 15 years before Mack’s arrival, Texas had three 10-win seasons, three nine-win seasons, six eight-win seasons, six top-25 finishes, one top-10 finish, one top-five finish and two bowl victories. In the first 15 years after Mack’s arrival, Texas has had nine 10-win seasons, 13 nine-win seasons, 14 eight-win seasons, 13 top-25 finishes, seven top-10 finishes, five top-five finishes and 10 bowl victories.

No. 28: Mack’s 150 wins at Texas are the third-most victories for a college team since 1998. Only Boise State’s 162 and Oklahoma’s 153 wins are more.

No. 29: Since the 1990 season, Mack has won more games (217, at both Texas and North Carolina) than any other head coach in the country. Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer is 13 games back.

No. 30: Mack’s also got the country’s highest winning percentage since 1990 — .758. Beamer’s at .710.

No. 31: Mack was the seventh youngest coach to reach 200 career victories.

No. 32: Last year, Mack moved up from 14th to 11th on the NCAA’s all-time wins list, passing Bo Schembechler, Hayden Fry and Jim Tressel along the way.

No. 33: Mack’s only three wins away from passing Woody Hayes to claim sole possession of 10th place on the all-time coaching victories list.

No. 34: Mack led Texas to nine straight 10-win seasons from 2001 to 2009. That’s the second-best streak in college football history, behind only Florida State’s 14 straight seasons from 1987 to 2000.

No. 35: In the Mack era, Texas is 21-5 in games decided by a field goal or less.

No. 36: Texas is 10-4 in bowl games during the Mack era, including nine wins in its last 11.

No. 37: In his first 15 years, Mack led Texas to three of the six longest home winning streaks in school history, including 20 home wins in a row from 1999 to 2003.

No. 38: Mack’s currently serving as president of the American Football Coaches Association.

No. 39: In Mack’s first 15 seasons, Texas has produced one Heisman Trophy winner, two runners-up and one third-place finisher.

No. 40: There’s been plenty of hardware outside the Heisman. Mack’s players at Texas also have won three Maxwell Awards, two Doak Walker Awards, two Thorpe Awards, two Nagurski Trophy winners, two Davey O’Brian Awards and a Wuerffel Trophy.

No. 41: Mack has produced 52 All-Americans during his Longhorns career.

No. 42: There also have been 71 first-team All-Big 12 players at Texas during the Mack era. That includes five Big 12 offensive player of the year awards, five Big 12 defensive player of the year awards and a dozen Big 12 freshman of the year winners.

No. 43: At Texas, Mack has made it to two BCS title games, one Rose Bowl, one Fiesta Bowl, three Cotton Bowls, two Alamo Bowls and five Holiday Bowls.

No. 44: In the Mack era, Texas is 30-17 against its four biggest rivals — Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Arkansas.

No. 45: In his final season at North Carolina, Mack led the Tar Heels to a 10-1 regular-season record and a No. 6 national ranking.

No. 46: In Mack’s 15 season openers at Texas, the Longhorns have outscored their opponents by an average score of 46-12.

No. 47: Texas football is 120 years old. Mack’s only the fourth Longhorns coach to lead the program for at least a decade.

No. 48: Of the 28 coaches in Longhorns history, only two have won 100 games while at the school — Darrell Royal, who won 167 games, and Mack, who’s won 150.

No. 49: Mack’s the second-longest tenured coach in Longhorns history, his 15 seasons trailing only Royal’s 20.

No. 50: This summer, Mack said he plans to coach until his current contract expires — in 2020.

No. 51: Going back to his days at North Carolina, Mack’s teams have finished the year ranked in the Top 25 in 15 of the last 17 seasons. That includes nine Top 10 finishes.

No. 52: Mack’s North Carolina Tar Heels actually played Texas in the 1994 Sun Bowl. The Longhorns won, 35-31.

No. 53: Mack’s 200th game as Texas’ coach will fall on Oct. 26, at TCU.

No. 54: Texas has produced 28 second-half comebacks in the Mack era, including 17 in the fourth quarter.

No. 55: In the Mack era, Texas has won 55 of its 65 games against teams from the state of Texas.

No. 56: Mack’s a Virgo.

No. 57: One random Internet horoscope for Mack’s big day today? Get this: ” … Your domestic and career needs are not in competition with one another in the year ahead. Your inner needs tend to be mirrored by external events, and vice versa. It suggests that you will be on top of your game this year, for the most part, and positive connections with others can be made fairly easily.” And, later: “Work you have done in the past begins to pay off this year — not necessarily in dramatic ways, but in small, measurable ways.”

Seriously. That horoscope’s out there somewhere.

No. 58: Others who share or shared Mack’s birthday? Barbara Bach (Ringo Starr’s wife) and Aaron Paul, aka Jesse Pinkman of Breaking Bad fame.

No. 59: Aaron Paul was born on Aug. 27, 1979. Nineteen days later, 28-year-old Mack made his assistant coaching debut as receivers coach at Iowa State. His Cyclones beat Bowling Green, 38-10.

No. 60: Mack and his wife Sally have four children and three grandchildren. One of those grandkids is named Mack.

No. 61: Mack’s first game as Texas coach? A 66-36 win at DKR over New Mexico State, on Sept. 5, 1998.

No. 62: Mack’s next game as Texas coach? A game at DKR against New Mexico State, on Saturday.

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