When Time Comes, Don't Look for Texas Longhorns to Hire Coach Within Big 12 Conference

By Marian Hinton

Since Texas Longhorns athletic director DeLoss Dodds recently announced that he will be retiring from his position next August (though look for him to move into another role even sooner than that), rumors have been swirling about his replacement. Along with the imminent hiring of a new athletic director, many fans and members of the media are under the assumption that head coach Mack Brown‘s retirement announcement may not be far behind. Though these rumors have been strongly shot down by the Texas administration, that hasn’t stopped them from heating up.

Several media outlets have mentioned Baylor Bears head coach Art Briles and TCU Horned Frogs head coach Gary Patterson as possible replacements for Brown, if and when he does indeed decide to retire.

Since those names have come to surface, fans have been arguing the merits of each. Sure, both know the State of Texas well and have proven that they can draw in recruits from one of the nation’s most talented football pools, however, each comes with concerns as well. Yes, Briles is probably the most brilliant offensive mind in the game today, but what about his poor defenses? Sure, Patterson’s teams are known for their defensive toughness, but would he be able to run the type of offense that fans in Austin would like to see?

We, as fans, can argue the advantages and disadvantages of each of these men and what they could potentially bring to a Texas program that will soon (though no one knows just how soon) be looking to rebuild. However, theses arguments are moot; I simply don’t see Texas snatching a coach from another school within the Big 12 conference.

Rarely do we see coaches leaving one program in favor of another program within the conference, even when the move is considered a step up. There are reasons for this and that is something that Texas understands. If Texas were to snag a fellow Big 12 school’s staff, they would open themselves up to a political firestorm.

Texas already has a reputation for being the bully of the conference . They are the ones who were driving the realignment train a few years ago. They are the ones who, despite the concerns and outrage from their fellow conference members, created their own network. In fact, most will tell you they are the ones that ultimately drove the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Texas A&M Aggies away from the Big 12.

They simply cannot afford to reignite fires within a conference that is already struggling to compete while other conferences grow bigger and more powerful.

Sure Briles and/or Patterson could be the perfect choice to take over for the Longhorns when Brown leaves, yet the world will never know; Texas simply isn’t going to poach a fellow Big 12 coaching staff. It would create too many problems in a conference that is trying to withstand the ever-changing shifts of conference realignment.


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