football coach

A fire ravaged the North Carolina home of former Texas football coach Mack Brown last week, according to multiple reports. 

David Vance, Avery County, North Carolina Fire Marshall, told the Austin Business Journal that the fire was first reported late Thursday night and took five local fire departments to finally put it out. Only two chimneys were left standing from the fire. 

Since announcing his retirement in December, Brown has spent significant time at this mountain home, which is located in a gated community in Linville, North Carolina. Recently, Brown reportedly moved most of his Longhorn memorabilia from his Austin home to this residence. 

Brown reached out to his supporters on social media Tuesday morning to thank them for their well-wishes. 

“Thx for your thoughts and prayers about the loss of our house,” Brown tweeted. “Tough deal, but thanks. Blessed everyone is fine and we are moving forward.”

The cause of the fire is currently unknown. 

In this podcast, Jacob Kerr, Amanda Voeller and guest Nick Castillo discuss the UT System Board of Regents naming Naval Adm. William McRaven the sole finalist to replace Francisco Cigarroa as chancellor. They also talk about media reports on Texas football coach Charlie Strong removing multiple players off the football team for violating his list of core values and Abigail Fisher's request for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to hear her case against the University's admissions policy en banc.

Charlie Strong speaks to the media as the defensie coordinator at Florida during a college football media day in 2009. 

Photo courtesy of Phil Sandlin/Associated Press

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Head coach Charlie Strong has been unable to escape the topic of recruiting since he replaced Mack Brown as Texas’ football coach. Unsurprisingly, this has only worsened in the week since the Longhorns have accrued the nation’s 20th ranked recruiting class, according to recruiting website, Rivals. 

But what will be the primary focus here, though, is not the players Strong brings in, but his ability to cultivate their talent and return this program to the elite status it once held. 

Critics of Strong’s hiring have asserted he has weak connections in Texas, which will hurt his capacity to recruit against the likes of Texas A&M, Oklahoma and LSU. This argument has merit; Look at what happened with Sione and Maea Teuhema, two brothers who recently dropped their commitments to Texas in favor of LSU. Overall, six Longhorn pledges have decommitted in the last month.

The discussion neglects the primary criteria of coaching: winning. Brown led the Longhorns to nine consecutive 10-win seasons and two appearances
in the BCS National
Championship. But with seven top-five recruiting classes from the stretch of 2002-2013, most Texas fans expected more championships.

While many of Brown’s teams did not live up to lofty expectations, Strong’s have made a habit of overachieving. Despite having no top-25 recruiting classes at Louisville, he coached the Cardinals to four straight winning seasons, including a 23-3 record from 2011-2012 and a win over heavily favored Florida in the 2011 Sugar Bowl. His coaching ability was best displayed last season, when Louisville boasted the nation’s top defense without a five-star recruit on the roster.

Of course, when given premium talent, Strong has produced premium results. While defensive coordinator at Florida, Strong put together several top-five defenses, including stifling units on the Gators’ championship teams in 2006 and 2008. Strong has shown a far greater ability to translate high-school recruits into stars at the college level, and, if he can display the leadership and intellect he did at his previous coaching stops, the Longhorns will be rewarded with elite players defined by success on the field — not the other way around.

Darrell K Royal (2012 file photo)

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Darrell K Royal, the former Texas football coach known as much for his folksy, simplistic approach to life as for his creative wishbone offenses and two national championships, has died. He was 88.

University of Texas spokesman Nick Voinis on Wednesday confirmed Royal's death. Royal had suffered from Alzheimer's disease and recently fell at an assisted living center where he was receiving care.

Royal took over as head coach at Texas at age 32 in 1956 after starring as a halfback for Oklahoma and then taking head coaching jobs at Mississippi State and Washington.

In 23 years as a head coach, he never had a losing season, with his teams boasting a 167-47-5 record in his 20 years at Texas, the best record in the nation over that period (1957-1976).

Royal won 11 Southwest Conference titles, 10 Cotton Bowl championships and national championships in 1963 and 1969, going 11-0 each time.

The national title season in 1969 included what was dubbed the "Game of the Century," a come-from-behind, 15-14 victory by the top-ranked Longhorns over No. 2 Arkansas in the final game of the regular season.

Always a proponent of a strong running game, Royal is often quoted as saying: "Three things can happen when you pass and two of 'em are bad."

Asked later in his coaching career if he might switch to a passing attack, Royal said, you've got to "Dance with the one who brung ya."

In 1968, Royal installed the wishbone, with the fullback lined up two yards behind the quarterback and a step up in front of the other two backs. With that formation, Royal's teams won 30 straight games and a record six straight SWC championships.

Royal's teams won more SWC games (109) and more overall games (167) in 20 years at Texas than any coach in league history.

Royal also served as Texas athletic director from 1962-1979 before becoming a special assistant for athletic programs to the UT president. In that capacity, he was influential in the hiring of Mack Brown as football coach in 1997.

Texas honored Royal in 1996 by renaming Texas' football stadium, Darrell K Royal-Memorial Stadium.

In announcing the name change, UT System Chancellor William Cunningham said, "No individual has contributed more to athletics at UT-Austin than Darrell Royal. He is a living legend."

Royal was close friends with former President Lyndon B. Johnson, who attended Texas football games once his presidency ended.

"I'm not a football fan," Johnson said. "But I am a fan of people, and I am a Darrell Royal fan because he is the rarest of human beings."

Royal, who acknowledged being unconcerned about racial discrimination for much of his life and had all-white teams up until 1969, credited Johnson with turning around his viewpoint.

Royal had a folksy, straight-forward approach to football and life that credited hard work as well as luck for his success.

He was among the first football coaches in the nation to hire an academic counselor to ensure athletes went on to graduate. He also set aside a fund for a special "T'' ring, which he personally awarded to his players upon their graduation.

He was a stickler for following the rules, even when he disagreed with them.

In 1976, Royal accused then-Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer of sending a spy to Texas practices, a violation of NCAA rules if the scout was reimbursed for his work.

Royal challenged Switzer to take a lie detector test over the matter and said he would resign as coach at Texas if Switzer passed it. Switzer refused and the Texas-Oklahoma rivalry took on added intensity

Royal was the youngest of six children born to Katy and B.R. "Burley" Royal and grew up in tiny Hollis, Okla., where he chopped cotton as a young boy to help his family through the Depression.

His mother died before he was even 6 months old, and he lost two sisters to a fever epidemic before he reached the age of 11.