STILLWATER, Okla. —
The news of Mack Brown stepping down at the University of Texas took over the nation, especially in the Big 12.
Brown will coach his final game at the helm of the Longhorns during the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30, against Oregon.
Brown has earned a lot of respect during his time at and before Texas. Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy is one that has had a pleasent relationship with Brown.
“We’ve always had a really good relationship,” Gundy said of Brown. “He’s one of the really good guys in our profession.”
Brown has been in some tough situations with regards to the way the Longhorn’s recent woes have gone.
“I’ve told him several times over the last few years that I have a lot of respect for the way he’s handled in my opinion would not always be the easiest situation. He’s very professional,” Gundy said.
Brown puts off a vibe that is friendly and is easily approachable.
“As head coaches, when we’re all together as a group there are certain guys that you can sit with a feel comfortable with ... Mack and I have always had that relationship,” Gundy said.
Brown has been able to deal with certain situations with great composure. He sets somewhat of a precedent that other coaches around the nation can look at.
“He’s got great people skills. I think a lot of us in our profession can learn from him and the way he’s handled his business. Not only at Texas but I was coaching against him when he was at North Carolina. “
Gundy feels that because of Brown’s excellent people skills the longtime Texas coach can be successful in anything.
“Whatever he chooses to do, whatever direction he goes he’ll do very well,” Gundy said.
Not only does Gundy and Brown get along well but the coaches in the Big 12 conference do too.
“Our coaches all get along,” Gundy said. “Prior to this season we can all sit in there and have communication as adults and do it professionally.”
Texas is one of the most well-known teams in all of the nation. Having a team of that caliber not meeting their usual standards affects the conference as a whole.
“It’s hard for me to comment or say anything about other schools but I think the way that college football has changed over the last few years, and it’s been evident in our league, that there’s more teams that are competiting for a conference championship in each league that what maybe fans or the media would have thought five years ago. That’s why I think it’s important,” Gundy said. “The parity in this league would grow and increase and it has. And it’s good for all of our teams to have success. In bowl games we need Big 12 teams to win bowl games. At some point it could factor in to a perspective when you’re talking about four teams. Whether it does or not I’m not sure. If you win your conference I think you’ll be in good shape. Outside of that it could factor in.”
The last five years there have been five teams grab a slice of the Big 12 title. The competitive level of the league has risen and continues to rise, even with the recent downfalls of Texas.
“I think it’s good for everybody in our league. If you were to make that comment on what you guys and everybody in the community say is a tradition rich football school they wouldn’t be as happy about it. But I think you’re seeing that across the country that there’s just a real fine line between winning 10 or 11 games to winning seven or eight,” Gundy said.