‘Portraits’ episode focuses on Mack Brown

By R.L. Bynum

An episode of “Portraits” featuring Carolina coach Mack Brown debuted last weekend.

The episode will re-air on various ESPN channels and can be viewed on YouTube here.

It’s the third episode of the series, an hourlong show that spotlights the most colorful college football characters, that debuted with a look at former Duke coach Steve Spurrier, with the second episode about Mississippi State coach Mike Leach. Origin Sports produces the series.

Host James “Batesy” Bates gets to know each guest as more than just a player or coach. Bates is a former Tennessee and NFL player who later coached in college and the NFL.

Bates joined the Hall of Fame coach in his man-cave-like office at the Tar Heels’ football facilities to discuss some of the most significant moments in his life and coaching career. They reminisce about Brown’s small beginnings in Cookville, Tenn., the epic 2005 national championship with Texas Longhorns and his biggest inspiration in life and football — his grandfather.


Brown provides insight into how he approaches recruiting and what it will take to succeed again at UNC. He also gives an inside look into his collection of Air Jordans.

Brown, a 44-year veteran of coaching college football, has been a head coach for 33 seasons. In addition to coaching at UNC from 1998 to 1997 and since 2019, he coached at Texas (1998–2013), Tulane (1985–87) and Appalachian State (1983) with a record of 265–139–1 (.656).

Brown’s 265 career victories rank eighth on the FBS all-time list and are the second-most among active coaches. The 2005 Paul “Bear” Bryant National Coach of the Year and the 2008 Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year, Brown is one of several college football coaches to lead two programs to top-five national finishes.

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