Though he had led the Tar Heels from back-to-back 1-10 records in 1988 and '89 to consecutive 10-win, top 10 seasons in '96 and '97, Brown's appointment was a mild surprise. Gary Barnett of Northwestern, who in the last two years had turned aside overtures from UCLA and Georgia, wanted to go to Austin. But Brown so captivated Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds and the selection committee in an interview on Wednesday, Dec. 3, that they offered him the job that day. "I anticipated that they would interview five or 10 guys, that my wife, Sally, and I would have a few days to talk it over," Brown said last Saturday. "I took a deep breath and said, 'Excuse me?' "
In the end Brown, the grandson of a fabled high school coach in Cookeville, Tenn., just couldn't say no to the Long-horns. "My grandfather always talked about Wally Butts at Georgia," says Brown, 46. "He talked about Bear Bryant at Alabama. He talked about Darrell Royal at Texas, who was winning national championships when I was in high school. That's why I'm so easily impressed by the old Top 10 schools. The tradition is so different at places like this."
Among the successful coaches interested in a move to a more prominent school: New Mexico's Dennis Franchione and Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer. Last year 24 jobs became available after the season, but by week's end only eight had opened up this year, and three of those have already been filled....
Texas Tech, which removed itself from the bowl picture after an NCAA investigation turned up 18 rules violations, also plans to limit the number of scholarships it will award to recruits in February. Texas Tech will wait to see how recruiting goes, though, before deciding how severely to penalize itself. Any sanctions by the NCAA would be announced early next year.
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