AUSTIN, Texas >> Being a high school football coach’s son and the starting quarterback at one of the most scrutinized programs in the country, Case McCoy wasn’t as surprised as some of his teammates when Mack Brown told them he was stepping down.
“I’ve had the ‘For Sale’ signs in my yard numerous times,” McCoy said. “I’ve moved a few times in my life. The job is to win a lot of ball games here. That’s what people expect at this university and we haven’t done what we’ve needed to do.”
Brown will be coaching his 206th and final game at Texas when the Longhorns (8-4) take on No. 10 Oregon (10-2) in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30. McCoy struggled in the team’s last game, a 30-10 loss to Baylor that kept Texas from claiming its first Big 12 title since McCoy’s older brother, Colt, took the Longhorns to the national title game in 2009.
Now Texas is trying to help Brown end his 16-year Longhorns coaching career with a victory.
“It would be great to have him ride off in the sunset (with a win),” junior center Dominic Espinosa said. “More than anything it excites us to make sure we send Mack out with a win. That’s another incentive to go out and practice harder this week.”
After meeting with school President Bill Powers and athletic director Steve Patterson last week, Brown informed them of his plans to make this year his last at Texas. He addressed his players and staff in an emotional meeting.
“He’s got more love for this university than he does love for himself,” senior offensive guard Mason Walters said. “Whatever he does, he’ll be successful in it. He has that same feeling about us. Whoever this university brings in is obviously going to be well-compensated and really good at their job so I don’t think we have a lot to worry about.”
Brown led the Longhorns to nine consecutive 10-win seasons from 2001-09, but has gone 30-20 over the past four seasons. As much as the Longhorns players want Brown to end his career on a high note, they want to beat the Ducks just as badly for themselves.
“We definitely love Coach Brown and it’s sad to hear that but you can’t approach it in a different way,” senior All-American defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat said. “I’m a senior. I’m approaching it as my last game and I’m working my butt off this week. That’s how everyone else is. You can’t worry about the future. You’ve got to worry about the now.”
Like McCoy, junior defensive back Quandre Diggs had an older brother play for Brown at Texas. Quentin Jammer was a sophomore when Brown was hired and was a consensus All-American by the time he left. Diggs followed in Jammer’s footsteps by coming to Texas, starting 35 games over the past three years.
“I’ve known Coach Brown since I was six or seven years old so I’ve always thought he was going to be the coach here,” Diggs said. “I’ve known him for a long time, probably longer than anyone else on the team. He means a lot to me because he’s a legend here, but besides coaching he’s just a better man.”
Assuming Diggs returns for his senior season, he will be welcoming a new like his older brother did 16 years ago. But first comes Oregon.
“I don’t care. It’s not in my hands. I wasn’t named to the search committee,” Diggs said, referring to the eight-member advisory committee Patterson appointed this week. “We just have to adjust to it. That’s not for me to discuss. I go out and play.”