Mack Brown inducted into Holiday Bowl Hall of Fame

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SAN DIEGO --Former University of Texas head coach Mack Brown was inducted into the Holiday Bowl Hall of Fame at a luncheon on Thursday in San Diego.

Brown led the Longhorns to five Holiday Bowl appearances between 2000 and 2011, posting a 3-2 record, including wins in the last two – 21-10 over Cal in 2011, and 52-34 over Arizona State in 2007. The other three games were all close, being decided by a total of 17 points. Texas defeated Washington, 47-43, in 2001, while falling to Oregon, 35-30, in 2000 and Washington State, 28-20, in 2003. The five appearances are the most in the game's history by any coach other than BYU's LaVell Edwards.

In 2011, former UT quarterback Major Applewhite was also inducted for leading the team's 19-point comeback win against the Huskies in the 2001 game.

The 2005 Paul "Bear" Bryant National Coach of the Year honoree and the 2016 Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Brown is one of a short list of coaches in the history of college football to lead two separate programs (North Carolina/Texas) to Top Five national finishes. His coaching tenure includes 30 years as a head coach and 41 years of college coaching. Brown's 244 career victories rank 10th on the NCAA all-time FBS list, while his 225 wins during a 24-year stretch from 1990-2013 were the most in the nation. He was also one of only two coaches nationally to direct his teams to 21 bowls over his final 22 seasons (1992-2013) and the only one to have 23 winning seasons in his last 24 years (1990-2013).

Establishing stability was a trademark of Brown's career, and he did just that when he came to Texas in 1998. Following a 10-1 regular season and No. 4 national ranking in 1997, and a 20-3 mark in his final two years at North Carolina, he took over a Longhorns program that was coming off of a 4-7 season and had not finished the year in the Top 10 since 1983. He proceeded to take Texas to great success over the next 16 years, ranking second only to Darrell Royal on the school's all-time victory list with 158. The 158 wins at Texas were the fourth-most nationally during his tenure with the Longhorns, but that is just part of the story. In 2005, Brown led Texas to its first National Championship since 1970 in a memorable 41-38 win over two-time defending National Champions and No. 1 USC. Texas played for another national title under Brown in 2009 and was 3-1 in BCS bowl games.

Brown posted a string of nine straight 10-wins seasons that is tied for the second-longest in NCAA history, while also leading the Longhorns to a school-best 12 straight nine-win seasons and six years of at least 11 wins. Brown directed UT to 15 bowl games and a UT-record 10 bowl wins in those contests. He guided the Horns to a UT-record streak of 12 straight bowls and posted a 9-3 mark during that stretch. Brown's Longhorns turned in a streak of 10 straight Top 15 finishes, which included seven Top-10 finishes and five Top-Five rankings.

Texas spent unprecedented time ranked in the polls during Brown's tenure. The Longhorns led the nation and set a UT record by spending 162 consecutive weeks ranked in the Associated Press Top 25, and bettered that in the coaches poll with a school-record 190 straight weeks. Texas' previous bests were 114 in the AP poll from 1968-76, and 54 in the coaches poll from 1977-80. Texas also led the nation with the most appearances in the BCS rankings while they existed with 104.

In his 16 seasons, Brown's Longhorn squads featured a Heisman Trophy winner, two runners-up and a third-place finisher, three Maxwell Award winners, three WCFF Player of the Year Award winners, two Doak Walker Award winners, two Thorpe Award winners, two Nagurski Trophy winners, two O'Brien Award winners, a Butkus Award winner, a Lombardi Award winner, two Manning Award winners, two Hendricks Award winners, two Draddy/Campbell Trophy winners, a Wuerffel Trophy winner, a Disney Spirit Award winner, a FWAA Armed Forces Merit Award winner, 54 All-Americans, 73 first-team All-Big 12 selections, five Big 12 Offensive Players of the Year, six Big 12 Defensive Players of the Year and 12 Big 12 Freshman of the Year honorees.

That success impacted the student-athletes' future opportunities, as well, with 114 of Brown's former players going on to be drafted into the National Football League, including 21 in the first round. Of the 77 players selected from his last 16 years of coaching, 58 were chosen in the first four rounds. An astounding 33 players from the 2005 National Championship team eventually played in the NFL.

Under Brown, success in the classroom flourished, as well. From 2006-13, the Longhorns led the Big 12 in academic all-conference selections with 159, which was 35 more than any other team. A graduation rate of better than 80 percent for his career was exemplified by his teams that appeared in the 2005 and 2009 National Championship Games, as a combined 46 members of the senior classes from those teams (92 percent) received their degrees. Texas also produced two winners of what is now called the Campbell Trophy, college football's top academic honor, in DE Sam Acho (2010) and C Dallas Griffin (2007).

One of the most respected coaches in the college game, Brown served on numerous national committees, including serving as president of the American Football Coaches Association. Brown also has served on the AFCA Ethics Committee and the AFCA Public Relations Committee. He has been a member of the NCAA Football Rules Committee and the NCAA Football Issues Committee. Brown served as chairman of the Football Coaches' Committee and was a member of the Board of Directors of the College Football Association.

Brown's efforts in the community have been significant. He and his wife, Sally, have played a key role in the establishment of the annual Mack, Jack & McConaughey (MJ&M) event. The joint fundraising effort of Brown, Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey and ACM Award-winning recording artist Jack Ingram has given $3.5 million since the establishment of its annual two-day event in 2013. The Browns were named Couple of the Year at the 10th Annual NFL Alumni Caring for Kids Banquet for their continued commitment to children, and for their overall efforts to be a charitable force in central Texas. They have served as honorary co-chairpersons of the Capital Campaign for the Helping Hands of Austin. The Browns were also instrumental in the growth of The Rise School of Austin (an early childhood education program that integrates children who have disabilities with their typically developing peers) and served on the school's board of directors.

Additionally, the American Red Cross named Brown the 2011 Lady Bird Johnson Humanitarian Award Winner. In September 2008, he and Sally were named the Citizens of the Year for Caritas of Austin, which provides meals and aid for the homeless. Earlier in that year, The University of Texas honored Brown with The Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs. The Chair is part of the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, a university-wide global affairs research center named for renowned lawyer and public servant, Ambassador Robert S. Strauss. The center is part of the LBJ School of Public Affairs. In May 2009, Brown went on an eight-day trip to visit U.S. troops in Germany, Turkey, Iraq, Kuwait, Djibouti and Spain as part of the Coaches Tour 2009. On January 30, 2014, Austin mayor Lee Leffingwell issued a proclamation making that date "Mack and Sally Brown Day" in the state capital. In 2016, the Austin chapter of the National Football Foundation honored Brown with the Distinguished American Award.

James Schleicher

James Schleicher is the publisher of Horns Illustrated magazine. He's also a fifth generation Texan and lifelong Austinite. Follow @HornsIllus twitter to keep up with all things Horns Illustrated.

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