Mack Brown Fires Manny Diaz Hires Greg Robinson, Will It Make Difference for D?

Taylor Gaspar@Taylor_GasparFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2013

Dec 29, 2012; San Antonio, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns defensive coordinator Manny Diaz (center) signals a play against the Oregon State Beavers during the second half of the Alamo Bowl at the Alamodome. Texas beat Oregon State 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports
Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Manny Diaz has been relieved of his duties as Texas' defensive coordinator and will be replaced by Greg Robinson effective immediately.

Chip Brown of broke the news Sunday one day after the Longhorns' defense gave up a school-record 550 yards rushing against the BYU Cougars. In the post-BYU interviews, Chip Brown asked Brown if Diaz would be coaching the defense for the Longhorns' upcoming game against Ole Miss, to which Brown responded, "I haven't even gotten out of the game. I would like to watch the video."

The game video shows the Texas defense missing tackles and getting gashed in the run game, and BYU quarterback Taysom Hill rushing for 259 yards and three touchdowns against the Longhorns.

Texas confirmed's report Sunday evening. In a statement, Texas coach Mack Brown said, "Our performance on defense was unacceptable and we need to change that. Greg will be here [Sunday night] and will get with the staff and players to start preparing for Ole Miss."

Robinson was the Longhorns' co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach in 2004 and was hired as a football analyst by Brown in mid-July.  


What could this mean for the Texas defense?

Robinson spent one season as the defensive coordinator for Texas before taking the head coaching job at Syracuse, where in four seasons his teams went 10-37. He also served as Michigan's defensive coordinator under Rich Rodriguez in 2009 and '10, before returning to Texas in July.

In Robinson's single season in Austin, the Longhorns' went 11-1 and beat Michigan in an exciting Rose Bowl. That defense ranked 16th in rushing, 18th in scoring and 23rd in total defense.

In his 36-year coaching career, Robinson has spent 10 years coaching in the NFL, including his time as the Denver Broncos' defensive coordinator during the team's back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 1997 and 1998.

The good news is it is unlikely that Robinson will face much of a learning curve, due to his duties as a Texas football analyst. Robinson helped oversee the Longhorns' self-scouting and provided assistance in scouting opponents, meaning he is familiar with both the Texas team and its opponents. 

Robinson obviously has skins on the wall, but Texas fans should keep expectations within reason. Diaz has received the majority of the blame for the Longhorns' defensive woes, but at some point, the players have to be held accountable for their poor defensive performances since 2012.

What Robinson cannot fix is heart and effort, so if the Texas defense cannot show either of those, the chance for change will be slim to none. 


Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.

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