Feb. 29, 2012
Ricky Williams (1995-98)
"Watching Coach Brown, I learn to appreciate that there are two types of people in the world; those that do what works for them and those that do what works for everyone else. The special thing about Coach Brown is he does what works for others and that allows him to do what works for him. He is a master at finding what is required to achieve success in any situation. And he delivers it with his trademark positive attitude and reassuring handshake. I know he had me ready to run through a wall for him. I think I actually did a few times."
Major Applewhite (1998-2001)
"He has helped me as a player and as a coach. But even when I wasn't here - when I was at Syracuse or at Rice or Alabama - when I was trying to make decisions for my family. In the coaching industry, it's really hard when you're a young guy trying to work your way up, when you don't know the answers. And he always had the time for me. He always had time to pick up the phone and answer questions and lead me in the right direction. So that's the mark of somebody - when they help you when you can't help them.
"His attention to detail is something that he probably doesn't get enough credit for, quite honestly. He gets a lot of credit for his recruiting and running a big football program, but he's very detailed. There are not very many things that get beyond him. All the way from, "that guy should be catching this pass," "we should be featuring that guy all the way," to "why did Johnny have black socks on today and not white socks like the team?" So there are very few things that go past him. You'll see that pencil out there and notepad, and he's working it 90 miles a minute. That's Coach Brown. That's why we're a good football program."
Derrick Johnson (2001-04)
"Coach Brown is the type of person that you should pay close attention to because he is a man that is always giving life lessons. He is a great coach, a fun person to be around and taught me a lot during my time at Texas. Now that I'm away, he still checks in with me all of the time and is very important in my life. He taught me so many things that help me be a better player and teammate but even more importantly, a better husband and father."
Michael Huff (2002-05)
"I was an 18-year-old going into college, and he embraced me like a father figure. He just embraced you as a player and as a student. Whether it was on the field, off the field; no matter what issues or any problems you had, you could go to his office and sit down to talk to him about everyday stuff. It didn’t just have to be about football. It could be football, academics, or anything. Just that father figure presence for an 18-year-old is big. He taught me how to be a man on the field and off the field."
Rodrique Wright (2002-05)
"Coach Brown loves his players. He's like a father figure to all of us. He always looks out for our best interests on and off the field. The older I get, the more thankful I am that he was my coach. From when I was in high school and what he told me then, still holds true today. As I'm now on staff, we still laugh and joke about stuff from when I was 18. It's still the same. It's a family atmosphere. That's the main thing - the family atmosphere and the father figure he has been for all of us. He has set a standard here at the University of Texas - we always are going to be in the mix to win a national championship. So at the end of the day I feel like Coach Brown is, obviously, a legend. He's a hall-of-famer."
David Thomas (2002-05)
"It's a great honor for Coach Brown, and it's most deserving, that's for sure. He definitely has taught a lot of things to me, and all of the guys he's coached. It was an honor to play for him, and as much as he taught me about football, I learned just as much, if not more, about life. I think that's something that people remember about him and something that can't be taken for granted. He has always worked hard at teaching us to do the right thing. I'll never forget him talking to us after we just won the National Championship about that being a great moment in our lives, but not letting that be the greatest moment in our lives, and that we needed to move on to be better fathers and husbands. I think the clarity he had in that big of a moment to remind us that football is just a game, but there are more important things in life, and the balance that he has between pushing us in football and pushing us in life is something I really respect and appreciate about him."
Vince Young (2003-05)
"The thing I love about Coach Brown is he always puts his players first. We have a great relationship and to this day he's a guy I know I can call any time. I like to call him 'Pops' because he was a father figure to me and all of the guys on the team. He cares about us as people and takes time to really get to know you and your family, and I really love him for that.
"Some coaches can just be hard on you all of the time, but he's one of the coolest coaches. At the same time, he still knows when to put his foot down. But he always shows love and made us appreciate everything we have. So many people are in the world struggling and going through things we wouldn't even know about until he read us a letter someone wrote. It brings a different perspective to life, period. I really love Coach Brown for doing that."
Aaron Ross (2003-06)
"Coach Brown is a very special person who has had a huge impact on my life. The thing that I think makes him so special is that he's not only there with you to celebrate your great moments, but he's the first to pick you up when you're at your worst. He just genuinely cares about you."
Quan Cosby (2005-08)
"He's meant everything to me. He's a man of his word. It was a real tough decision to call him and tell him that I chose baseball, but he didn't gripe. He didn't say anything but, "I respect that. If you ever want to come back you have a scholarship." And five years later, after basically not even touching the football, without even blinking he welcomed me back. That's the type of man he is. He lived up to every ounce of what I ever heard, and I respected whatever I got back.
"He's a players' coach. Some players want the yelling and screaming and cussing coach. And that's not him. He's going to tell you what you need to know. And he's going to say it firmly, but it's going to be very respectful. That's one of the coolest things. I told him after winning a National Championship and the success that we had, was that we did it the right way. That's what he does. That's the way he does it in my opinion. He goes after good guys. And he treats you like men. It's unbelievable how close you get to him when he has 105 other people to watch over. But you'd never know it because he's so personal. As far as him being in the Hall of Fame, he was there way before this induction in my eyes."
Brian Orakpo (2005-08)
"Coach Brown has done a lot to support me in my career and in my time at Texas. Being a young man coming out of Houston, Texas, I had the privilege of getting a scholarship to The University, and he greeted me with open arms. He showed me the ropes from being a boy to a man and the responsibility it takes to being a successful person. I attribute a lot to him for that. As a coach, he's one of the winningest coaches in college football history, and he's done a lot, not only for The University of Texas, but college football in general. He's won championships, and there are so many guys he produces and sends to the NFL to further their careers. When you think of Coach Brown, you think that he stands for everything The University of Texas stands for. With all of the great athletes who have come through there, Coach Brown has done a phenomenal job raising them from young boys to men. The one thing that truly stands out about him is he's a caring coach. What I mean by that is, that it's not just about football; he cares about the individual person as well - the academics, the family - we're all sort of like his children, but still he treats us like men. That's one thing I truly respect about Coach Brown, and I'll forever be indebted to him."
Colt McCoy (2006-09)
"As a player, the thing that makes Coach Brown so great is that he is consistent in everything he does. When I was there, that's what made our team really click. We knew who our coach was, and we always knew exactly what he expected of us. And because he was consistent, we were consistent. One of his messages is if you're consistently good, you'll become great. We followed his lead on that and it paid off."
Sam Acho (2007-10)
"Coach Brown has been an inspirational figure since the day I stepped on campus at UT. He is all things to all people. To some he is a coach, to others a father figure, to even others he was a mentor. Most importantly, Coach Mack Brown is a leader. He made the tough decisions when they needed to be made and always took the blame before taking the glory. He is a truly inspirational man."