As laughable as Texas’ loss to BYU Saturday night was, the Longhorns’ reported solution to the defensive problems is equally absurd.
According to Chip Brown of OrangeBloods.com, UT defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has been fired by head coach Mack Brown. The move comes less than 24 hours after the Longhorns’ defense was gashed for a school-record 550 yards rushing in a loss to BYU.
Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman subsequently confirmed that Diaz has been fired.
The move to replace Diaz post-haste is not exactly unexpected; the individual handpicked by Brown to do the replacing, though, is.
Again according to Brown, Greg Robinson will replace Diaz as UT’s defensive coordinator.
Robinson, who was the head coach at Syracuse from 2005-08 (10-37), was hired in January of this year to serve as a “football analyst” on the Longhorn Network. Prior to returning to UT — he spent the 2004 season as Brown’s DC — Robinson spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons as Rich Rodriguez‘s coordinator at Michigan. The Wolverines were 82nd in total defense in 2009, 110th in 2010. UM was 77th in scoring defense in 2009 and 108th in scoring defense in 2010.
Rodriguez was fired after the 2010 season.
UPDATED 5:13 p.m. ET: Mack Brown has confirmed that Diaz is out, Robinson is in as UT’s defensive coordinator.
“Our performance on defense last night was unacceptable, and we need to change that,” Brown said ion a statement. “Greg will be here tonight and get with the staff and players to start preparing for Ole Miss. He will be running our defense immediately. We’re very fortunate that Greg has been around, watched all of our practice video and has a good scouting report moving forward. His familiarity with the staff and players should make for a smooth transition. He knows this place, did a terrific job in leading our defense before, and I’m excited to have him back on the field. We’re back at it and working hard to beat Ole Miss this weekend.”
UPDATED 5:26 p.m. ET: Here’s the statement from Robinson on his being elevated from “football analyst” to defensive coordinator at UT.
“This is a tough deal for everyone involved, but I love The University of Texas, and Coach Brown has been wonderful to me. I’ll do anything I can to help him, so when he called, I told him I’d be there today. I know the staff, have a lot of respect for them and am excited for the challenge moving forward.
“I’ve been around the team a lot, watched all of their film and have been self scouting and scouting opponents since I came on board in July. Because of Longhorn Network, I’ve also been able to see these guys for two to three years and am very familiar with the personnel. …
“I need to get with the staff, work with them to get a plan in place and hit the ground running. I think very highly of the defensive coaches I’m working with – Duane (Akina), Oscar (Giles) and Bo (Davis) – so it’s critical for me to get with them and figure out what specifically we need to do moving forward. Having coached here, I do know the ins and outs and having the stability with the rest of the staff will be very beneficial.”