At the height of his success at Texas, where he went 158-48 including a string of nine straight double-digit seasons and a national title, Mack Brown was regarded as one of the best coaches in college football - and deservedly so.
But part of the brilliance of Mack Brown has to do with his approach with stakeholders of his program off the field. Well before the days where college football programs understood and embraced social media, Mack Brown was an expert in the field of public relations.
Houston Nutt recently shared a story on Horns247's The Flagship Podcast about a trip to Iraq in 2009 that he went on to show support to Baghdad troops that Mack and a handful of other coaches like Jim Tressel, Jim Grobe, Tommy Tuberville, Rick Neuheisel, and Troy Calhoun attended as well.
On that trip, Mack, who is now leading at North Carolina's for a second time leading their resurgence in college football, carried around two or three different phones and he was working them every available moment in a way that made Nutt feel like he wasn't doing enough as a head coach.
“I felt not worthy enough to even be a head coach at the time when I got to be around Mack Brown for those eight or nine days," Nutt shared on the show.
During trips to the hospital to see injured US soldiers, Nutt asked Brown why he was carrying around a few phones and filling in folks on the other end of the call. Brown responded by saying that he was providing the top Texas boosters a run down of their activities each day.
Nutt also shares that Mack arrived at the hospital with some special-made silver Hook 'Em Horn coins that were rather large.
"He had these big silver coins with Hook ‘Em Horns, these Texas Longhorns coins. He’d hand those soldiers, who had missing legs and limbs and were fighting for us and our country, he would hand that Longhorn coin to them. You’d have thought those soldiers thought they were getting a million dollars. Some of them were Texas fans through and through."
"When Mack Brown handed those coins to those soldiers, he was prepared in every way."
As Nutt watched Mack's preparation for each moment, and how we worked the crowds of people he shares that he couldn't help but feel like he wasn't doing enough in his position as the head coach at Ole Miss at the time.
"I felt like, man I'm not doing enough. I'm not doing enough for my school. I brought some t-shirts and some footballs and I felt good about that, but I felt so shorthanded. Mack has three phones, he's talking to all these different groups of alums. It was just amazing to watch.