AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas said Wednesday it has agreed to pay former coach Mack Brown $2.75 million that would have been owed him if he had been fired, and place him in a one-year, $500,000 job as a special assistant to the president for athletics.
Both options had been part of Brown's original contract in separate clauses in case of termination or resignation. Brown announced on Dec. 14 that he would step down after Texas' bowl game and called it a "mutual" decision between himself, school President Bill Powers and athletic director Steve Patterson. He has been replaced by Charlie Strong.
Brown had reportedly been negotiating for more money. Texas agreeing to pay Brown his severance buyout and give him the job raised the question whether he was fired or resigned and why he would get both options.
"He resigned," Texas spokesman Nick Voinis said. "This is what was agreed to We're honoring his contract."
Brown's attorney, Joe Jamail, did not immediately return telephone messages seeking comment. The University of Texas System Board of Regents, which approved Brown's contract and most recently approved an extension in 2012, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Brown was under contract through 2020 and was one of the highest-paid coaches in the country at more than $5.4 million per year. But the coach who won the 2005 national championship and played for another in 2009 left after a four-year run that saw the Longhorns lose at least four games every season.
The contract included language that allowed Brown to move to "another significant position within the university" at a minimum of $500,000 per year if he "voluntarily relinquishes his duties" as coach.
Brown's new job will concentrate on fundraising for the nation's wealthiest athletic department.
The contract also had the $2.75 million termination payment if he was fired before Dec. 31, 2014, to be paid in four equal annual installments. The same section said that if Brown were fired, left for another program or become otherwise unable to do his job, "all obligations" under the contract "shall cease."