Source: Mack Brown fighting for job

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Embattled Texas coach Mack Brown met Friday with university president Bill Powers and athletic director Steve Patterson.

Patterson declined to say what was discussed or if any conclusion had been reached, but a source said Brown is now fighting to keep his job.

"When we have something to announce, we'll announce it," Patterson told reporters.

Brown had previously confided in those close to him that he was resigning, the source said. However, Brown was "enraged" when the news leaked to the media, and he decided to change course, according to the source.

Brown closed his annual team banquet Friday night without addressing his future with the Longhorns. Afterward, however, he spoke with ESPN's Holly Rowe to dispute reports about his state of mind.

"ESPN has had the story wrong," Brown said. "Everybody just needs to slow down. I have a good relationship with my bosses, Bill Powers and Steve Patterson, and I look forward to making the best decision (about my future)."

Multiple sources tell ESPN's Holly Rowe that the decsion on Brown's job status is his alone and he has the support of Powers and Patterson.

In a short, upbeat speech at the banquet, Brown acknowledged the "distractions" his team faced over rumors and reports that he would resign or be fired after 16 seasons, but ended only with a plea for his team to "beat Oregon" in the Valero Alamo Bowl.

Brown did not directly address the speculation swirling around his job, but news of Alabama's new contract with Nick Saban, a coach some Texas officials hoped to lure to the Longhorns, rippled through the banquet minutes before Brown gave his speech.

Brown gave no indication he plans to step down. His lively speech seemed to lift the somber tone of the banquet and he told Patterson that he's looking forward to working with him. Brown lingered long after the banquet was over to chat with recruits and their families.

But what Brown and his bosses didn't do was deliver any definitive closure to the question of whether he would be back.

During his prepared remarks, Patterson said he's "excited to be working with" Brown.

"Hopefully, we'll be able to get together and work for many years to come," Patterson said.

Powers, one of Brown's biggest allies, also praised Brown and his wife.

"Mack and Sally, I'm so proud of you, the way you brought this team over obstacles," Powers said. "You two are the very best. I'm proud to be your friend."

What Texas knows is that it won't get Saban.

Saban has been identified as a target to potentially replace Brown, and several university regents and a former regent were involved in a meeting with Saban's agent last January to gauge his interest in coming to Texas.

That door closed Friday night when Alabama announced it had reached "a long-term agreement" for Saban to remain with the Crimson Tide. Alabama didn't release terms of the new deal, which must be approved by the board of trustees. The Tuscaloosa News reported the new contract will raise Saban's salary to between $7 and $7.5 million per year and will further extend its length.

Saban, who turned 62 on Oct. 31, has led the Tide to three national championships in the past four years. No. 3 Alabama will play Oklahoma in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

The 62-year-old Brown earns about $5.4 million and is under contract until 2020.

Earlier Friday, Brown met with Roderick Bernard, a Sharpstown High wide receiver who has committed to Texas, in Houston and was to return to Austin to meet with several recruits, a source said. Brown said he has 17 recruits in town for visits Saturday.

Brown said Thursday he has no interest in discussing his job status or publicly campaigning for his job.

"There's been a little speculation about my job situation," Brown said. "... My situation has not changed."

Patterson took over for the retiring DeLoss Dodds in November, and Brown acknowledged the effect a new AD could have on his job.

"Any time the athletic director changes, it changes the game," Brown said. "I will sit down and talk to him and Bill and discuss the direction we're going. I'm looking forward to my meeting with Bill and Steve and then move forward."

Brown was one of the most successful coaches in the country from 2001-09 when he went 101-16, won two Big 12 titles and the 2005 national championship, the Longhorns' first undisputed national title in 36 years. The Longhorns returned to the national championship game in the 2009 season, but lost to Saban's Alabama.

Since that loss, Texas is 30-20 overall, with Brown's only losing season in 2010. Texas expected to return to national prominence this year but started 1-2 with blowout losses to BYU and Mississippi. The Longhorns rallied to start 6-0 in Big 12 play before losing two of its final three games, including a 30-10 decision to Baylor last Saturday in what had become a de facto conference title game.

Information from ESPN's Brett McMurphy, ESPN.com's Max Olson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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