Austin, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Mack Brown will resign as football coach at Texas after the Longhorns play their bowl game.
Brown announced his resignation Saturday, calling his 16 seasons leading the Longhorns "a wonderful ride" but saying it was time for a change in what he called a football department "being pulled in different directions."
The announcement ended weeks of speculation about Brown's job security after an 8-4 regular season -- the fourth straight year the Longhorns lost that many games.
It came one day after Brown met with Texas president Bill Powers and incoming athletic director Steve Patterson, and amid speculation he would resign or be fired.
Brown, who won a national title with Texas after the 2005 season, will coach the unranked Longhorns in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30 against No. 10 Oregon.
He said he arrived at Texas in 1998 "to pull together a football program that was divided."
"Now, the program is again being pulled in different directions, and I think the time is right for a change," Brown said in a statement "I love The University of Texas, all of its supporters, the great fans and everyone that played and coached here.
"I can't thank (retiring athletic director) DeLoss Dodds enough for bringing our family here, and Bill Powers and the administration for supporting us at a place where I have made lifelong friendships.
"It is the best coaching job and the premier football program in America. I sincerely want it to get back to the top and that's why I am stepping down after the bowl game. I hope with some new energy, we can get this thing rolling again."
Brown's announcement came after Alabama said Friday night it had reached a new long-term agreement with football coach Nick Saban.
The two coaches had been linked by recent rumors and reports that had Saban, who won three national titles in the past four years with the Crimson Tide, taking over for Brown in Austin.
Brown said at a media briefing Thursday for the Alamo Bowl, "My situation has not changed." He didn't address his future at Texas' football banquet Friday night as news of the Saban extension broke, according to reports.
"We appreciate everything Mack has done for The University of Texas. He's been a tremendous coach, mentor, leader and ambassador for our university and our student-athletes," Patterson said in a statement.
"He is truly a college football legend. I've had a number of talks with him recently, and he has always said he wanted what was best for The University of Texas. I know this decision weighed heavily on him, and today he told us he's ready to move forward."
Brown was in Florida on a recruiting trip this week when a website reported he would step down by the end of the week. Brown denied to another site that he had made a decision, but on Thursday said working for a new athletic director "changes things."
Patterson was hired in November to replace Dodds, who has held the post for 32 years. Dodds brought Brown to Austin for the start of the 1998 season.
"We've hired what I think is a great athletic director, but I haven't had time to sit down with him," Brown said Thursday. "I'm looking forward to my meeting and we'll get on the same page and move forward."
Brown's contract with the university runs through 2020 under a deal he signed in January of 2012 and he will remain at the school in some capacity.
He restored the Longhorns to national prominence and the team strung together nine straight seasons of double-digit wins from 2001-09.
The highlight of his tenure, undoubtedly, came when the Longhorns beat USC in the 2006 Rose Bowl to win the national title and finish off a 13-0 season.
"This is a very difficult day for everyone in The University of Texas family," Powers said in a statement calling Brown "one of the best football coaches in the country."
"Mack is just the best and he will be missed," said Powers. "With that said, I'm excited for the future and the opportunity to work with him in a new capacity for the years to come and am thrilled that he and (wife) Sally will remain part of our family. He is an unbelievable resource for us and will always be a valuable member of the Longhorn community."
Brown also took the Longhorns to the national title game after the 2009 season but they lost to Saban and Alabama. The program has been in decline since with a record of just 30-20 over the past four seasons.
Texas lost two of its first three games this season, then rebounded to go 7-1 in Big 12 play prior to last Saturday's 30-10 loss to Baylor in a de-factor conference title game. The Longhorns could have captured a BCS bowl bid with a victory over the Bears.
Brown's 158 wins at Texas are the second-most in school history behind Hall of Famer Darrell Royal's 167.