REPORTS are surfacing this afternoon that University of Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds will retire at year's end; the rumor comes just 24 hours after Dodds famously said "Mack's fine," in reference to embattled Longhorns' football coach Mack Brown.
While a University spokesman denied the report to Texas beat writer Mike Finger, that wouldn't be unusual if the news was leaked prior to a planned announcement. Naturally, the possibility of Dodds no longer steering the burnt orange ship has ignited speculation that Brown, already presumed to be in the hot seat after a string of less-than-impressive seasons, would be the next major name in Texas sports to head for the exits.
Dodds, who turned 74 in August, has took the reins as AD in the fall of 1981. During his time at Texas, the Longhorns have won 13 national championships in various sports, including the 2005 BCS title. The Longhorns have won seven conference titles during Dodds' tenure, including four in the old Southwest Conference and three since joining the Big 12.
Brown, who turned 62 last month, is 151-44 as head coach at Texas. The past few seasons have been a trial for the longtime head coach, however, as the team has failed to earn a conference title since 2009, when an undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide schooled the Longhorns to earn Nick Saban's first title in Tuscaloosa.
Prior to taking the tiller at Texas in 1998, Brown spent 10 seasons as coach of the University of North Carolina Tarheels, three at Tulane, and a solitary year as chief play caller at Appalachian State University.