AUSTIN -- Rumors flew all week about University of Texas head football coach Mack Brown's future at Texas. When he took the stage at the Longhorns' annual football banquet Friday night, many people expected him to announce that he's stepping down, or at the very least, address the rumors.
Instead, Brown addressed the team about overcoming difficulties and injuries this year, and he spoke about the Longhorns' upcoming Alamo Bowl game against the Oregon Ducks.
He also turned to recently hired men's athletic director Steve Patterson and told him he was looking forward to working with him.
Patterson spoke earlier in the night, telling Brown that he is excited to work with him "for many years to come."
Brown has done a good job of sidestepping the rumors all week, telling 247Sports.com via text message on the day the rumors broke out that he was in Florida on a recruiting trip. On Thursday at an Alamo Bowl press conference, he addressed the rumors directly, saying, "My situation has not changed."
However, Brown further confused curious fans on Friday when he tweeted a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote: "Don't waste your life in doubts and fears: spend yourself on the work before you, assured that the right performance of this hour's duties will be the best prep for the hours or ages that follow it."
Many people on Twitter thought the tweet could be a sign of things to come.
Several news sources, including Orangebloods.com, ESPN and 247Sports.com reported that Brown would step down by the end of the week. However, on Friday, ESPN reported that a source close to Brown said the coach decided not to step down after the rumors leaked.
KVUE's content partners at the Austin American-Statesman reported earlier this week that Brown had met with school officials regarding his resignation. Brown also reportedly met with Patterson and University of Texas president Bill Powers on Friday.
Powers has repeatedly expressed his support for Brown over the last few rocky years of the Texas football program. On Thursday, Powers expressed his support again, calling Brown one of the best college football coaches in history. He, however, did not say whether Brown would stay for his 16th season or step down.
Brown mentioned at the Alamo Bowl press conference on Thursday that he wanted to meet with Patterson and Powers to talk about the future of the program, citing the changes that come alongside an athletic director change. Patterson replaced longtime men's athletic director Deloss Dodds, who will move to a consultant position in the department.
Rumors flew throughout the week that Brown could be replaced by Alabama coach Nick Saban, but Kirk Herbstreit at ESPN reported Friday that Saban agreed to a multiyear contract extension to stay at Alabama.
Brown has served as the Longhorns' head coach since 1998. He has a 158-47 record at Texas, including one national championship win and a second national championship game appearance. The Longhorns finished the 2013 season with an 8-4 record.