Source: Texas Officials, Major Boosters Targeting Mack Brown, Oliver Luck - Details Inside

In a series of conversations over the past 24 hours, a source with close ties to the Texas athletic department and several respected Longhorns boosters has confirmed to Chat Sports that NCAA exec and former West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck and former Longhorns football coach Mack Brown are the top two targets for the Texas Longhorns in Texas' search for a new athletic director. 

Here's the latest: 

Luck has gone silent over the last 24 hours. He's not returning phone calls or texts from anyone (friends, reporters, ex-teammates or former co-workers). Luck has interest in discussing the job, and doesn't want to be put in a position to confirm or deny any interest in the position. He is only 55, which would make him one of the younger high-profile athletic directors in the country. 

As for Brown, he says no one from Texas has contacted him about the AD position. A CBS Sports report says Brown isn't interested in becoming the AD, but our source says Brown does have interest in the position. Brown is only 64, putting him near the same age as Florida AD Jeremy Foley and USC AD Pat Haden. Brown still has a desire to coach (as confirmed by our source), but the allure of the Texas AD position is strong. Brown has told many close to him that there are several coaching jobs that may come open this offseason that he is very interested in, so Texas has competition if they want to land their former coach for this role.

Hard Feelings: 

One hurdle Texas will need to clear is that both Luck and Brown could harbor hard feelings. Both have been burned by Texas in the past and one of them will be spurned a second time, which is why both Brown and Luck are hesitant to lobby for the job. 

Luck was the leading candidate for the Texas AD job before it went to Steve Patterson two years ago. There may still be some hard feelings on Luck's part after he was passed over for the job. 

As for Brown, the former Texas coach wants to "feel the love' from Texas boosters and administrators before he'd even consider taking the role. There are some hurt feelings from the way the Texas' coaching transition was handled, but Brown is interested in the AD job. Brown wants Texas to want him and he won't lobby for the position. He wants to feel the love from a school that forced him out as head coach. Texas would need to heavily recruit Brown in order for him to consider taking the position.

Make no mistake, it appears Brown wants to return to Texas as AD and win back some of the clout he lost in his last few years as a coach there, but he is a prideful man, and will not under any circumstances actively pursue the job.

Additional Factors To Consider:

There is definitely no consensus on which candidate would do a better job: the most influential Texas boosters prefer Brown, while many school officials and those in the athletic department think Luck is more qualified. The boosters believe hiring Brown as AD could help football recruiting, as Brown is still beloved by many high school head coaches. Brown would also be able to help with many of the football operations decisions. Hiring Brown could help current head coach Charlie Strong, as the two have a solid relationship, despite Strong taking over for Brown as head coach. Additionally, hiring Brown could go a long way to help heal the wounds that Patterson caused among boosters, alumni and students during his time as AD. 

Our source says that most decision makers think Luck might do a better job, but he might not be the PR win that hiring Brown would bring. If Luck is hired, there is always the potential he could want to bring in his own coach for football, especially if Texas continues to struggle this season under Strong. 

Time Frame: 

Texas boosters don't want to wait to hire a new AD and would like to make a hire as soon as they can. However, there is a fear the University will step in and slow down the process. Texas officials will take the rest of this week, and into next week, to consider all factors, and will begin actively recruiting a replacement for the ousted Steve Patterson.

Want more on this story? Check out Texas football rumors on Chat Sports

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Related Topics: Steve Patterson, Texas Football Recruiting News, Texas Football Rumors, Texas Longhorns, Athletic Director, Oliver Luck, Mack Brown, Texas Longhorns Rumors