AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - University of Texas regents agreed Thursday to extend football coach Mack Brown's contract by four years to 2020, a move school officials hope will assure long-term stability for a program eager to get back in the chase for national championships.
Brown, who is paid $5.2 million a year, won't get any more money out of the new deal, but he will continue getting annual raises of $100,000 per his current contract. The deal includes a $3.5 million buyout that drops every year he stays with Texas.
The regents, who met via telephone conference, deliberated in private for about 40 minutes before unanimously approving the changes.
After the regents voted, Texas President Williams Powers Jr. and athletic director DeLoss Dodds said school officials want Brown to coach the Longhorns for as long as he wants to. High school recruits can sign scholarship letters-of-intent on Feb. 1.
Rumors had cropped up after last season that Brown might retire or be forced out. Powers on Thursday dismissed such speculation as completely unfounded.
"He represents the university in exactly the way that we want it to be represented. For 14 years, he's had tremendous success on the field and equally important, more important, he's represented the university with class, with integrity," Powers said.
"It is important to us to have Mack Brown as our football coach for as long into the future as we can. This contract is an expression of that," Powers said.
In a statement later Thursday, Brown said: "I'm so fortunate to have great bosses like DeLoss Dodds and Bill Powers and a Board of Regents who all have been so supportive of Sally and me for 14 years. We're grateful for their continued support of our football program and are looking forward to many more wonderful years at Texas."
The 60-year-old Brown is 141-39 with the Longhorns, who won the 2005 national championship and Big 12 championships in 2005 and 2009. His only losing season was in 2010 and Texas rebounded to an 8-5 finish last season with a win over California in the Holiday Bowl.
Dodds said Texas is also planning to give raises to Brown's staff, but declined to provide details before they are approved.