AUSTIN, Texas -- University of Texas regents went behind closed doors to discuss candidates for Longhorns offensive and defensive coordinators and authorized coach Mack Brown and school officials to negotiate contracts.
The meeting Friday was conducted by telephone from the regents' headquarters in Austin and was attended in person by school President William Powers Jr. and athletic director DeLoss Dodds. Brown didn't attend.
Powers and Dodds wouldn't say which assistant coaching candidates were discussed and declined to comment when asked if hirings were imminent. The formal motion approved by the regents said other coaches not discussed in the meeting could also be hired.
"We have the best football coach in America. We have absolute faith and confidence he'll make the right choices and that process is ongoing," Powers said. "Today, we just made sure we had whatever authorization we need from the board to execute these contracts."
Brown is searching for coordinators on both sides of the ball after a 5-7 season, Texas' first losing season since 1997. Longtime offensive coordinator Greg Davis resigned Dec. 6 and defensive coordinator Will Muschamp left Dec. 11 to become Florida's head coach.
When asked why the regents would want to get involved in who Brown hires for assistant coaches, board spokesman Anthony de Bruyn said "it's their prerogative."
Regents may want to be informed simply because of the dollar figures that may be attached to new hires.
In previous coaching searches, Dodds has said Texas pays "market" value and the value of top-flight coordinators would seem to be rising. Davis made close to $500,000 last year, but Muschamp was paid $900,000 a year in a contract that had set him up to succeed Brown as head coach if and when Brown decided to retire.
Gus Malzahn, offensive coordinator at Auburn, has received a contract extension and raise that will pay him more than $1 million a year.