Manny Diaz

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

When Mack Brown announced his resignation on Dec. 14th it was clear there would be massive changes in 2014 for the entire coaching staff. New head coach Charlie Strong only retained Bruce Chambers for his first staff at Texas, meaning everyone else was forced to find somewhere else to coach or something else to do.

Mack Brown

Since leaving the Longhorn program, Brown has stayed in the public eye via Twitter. Brown live-tweeted the BCS Title game, as well as the Broncos-Patriots AFC Title game. He recently used the platform to state that he is not interested in coaching in the NFL and looks forward to attending tailgates with Texas fans this fall.

Greg Robinson

Robinson is a finalist for the California defensive coordinator job, after he successfully revived his coaching career following Texas’ defensive turn-around in 2013. If Robinson is unable to land the job, it is unknown what and where he will be coaching in the future, and his prospects may be pretty limited despite a successful 2013 campaign.

Major Applewhite

Rumors circulated that Applewhite would rejoin Will Muschamp at the University of Florida, but that door closed before the Alamo Bowl was played. On Jan. 2, it was reported by SBNation that Applewhite had accepted a one-year severance package, but details of his future are uncertain at this point.

Manny Diaz

After being demoted following an embarrassing showing in Provo, Utah, Diaz fell off the coaching radar. So it came as a bit of a surprise when it was announced Tuesday that his next coaching job will be defensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech.

Duane Akina

Reports on Cal’s SBNation site indicate that Akina could be bringing the “Defensive Back U” to UC-Berkley. If Akina is hired at Berkeley as defensive backs coach, it seems logical that Robinson would make the move as well.

Bo Davis

On Jan. 7, Davis was named USC’s defensive line coach, after Strong decided to combine the line position. That stint lasted one week before he bolted to
Tuscaloosa after Texas hired Chris Rumph from Alabama. The two switched places, reuniting Davis with Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide for the foreseeable future.

Darrell Wyatt

After not being retained by Texas, Wyatt’s name has come up in numerous offensive coordinator searches and he is a finalist for the head coach position at Sam Houston State.

Stacy Searels

On Jan. 5, it seemed Searels was the front-runner for Florida’s offensive line job. But, just a day later, the Gators went in a different direction. With that opportunity gone, Searels is now a candidate to coach Virginia Tech’s offensive line.

Larry Porter

Since losing his job, there is not much known about Porter’s next coaching destination.

Oscar Giles

The hiring of Rumph resulted in Giles being let go. Not many details have emerged about where he will coach next.

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

The way the game was played, it was hard to believe each team had a blue-chip prospect starting at quarterback.

Garrett Gilbert, the nation’s third-best quarterback prospect coming out of high school in 2009, according to, left the game in the second quarter with Texas trailing, 13-0. He would never play another down in a Longhorns uniform.

BYU’s Jake Heaps,’s top quarterback prospect in the Class of 2010, was held to 192 yards on 22-for-38 passing with one touchdown pass and two interceptions in the 17-16 loss to the Longhorns two years ago. It was defensive coordinator Manny Diaz’s second game on the job and it was a good one.

Heaps won’t have it as easy when he returns to Austin and faces a new-and-improved Greg Robinson-led Longhorns defense this weekend.

Neither Gilbert nor Heaps is with the team they began their college football careers with – Gilbert is now with SMU while Heaps, heavily recruited by former Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis, is now playing for Weis at Kansas.

“Quarterbacks usually don’t stay long unless they’re playing,” Texas head coach Mack Brown said. “No one wants to be the backup quarterback, especially if you’re one of the top players in the country coming in.”

Heaps, after sitting out the 2012 season, is getting his second chance as a starter with the Jayhawks, losers of 25 consecutive games against Big 12 opponents. Kansas has lost its four contests in conference play this year by an average of 27 points, with Heaps going 41-for-90 (45.6 percent) for 442 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions in those games.

He was held to 16 yards on 5-for-13 passing in a 34-19 loss to Oklahoma two weeks ago and completed only seven of 19 passes for 85 yards in a 59-14 defeat to Big 12 frontrunner Baylor last weekend.

The way Diaz’s replacement, Greg Robinson, has the Longhorns defense playing, Heaps is going to have another rough outing when Texas hosts Kansas in its first home game in six weeks this Saturday.

The Longhorns have held Big 12 foes to 19.5 points per game, the fewest in the conference, and limited TCU to seven points – its fewest in a game in more than seven years.

“What Greg did is he settled the defense down,” Weis said. “They already have a formidable front four to start off with and now they just line up and play. They don’t try trickery or anything like that. They just try to be athletes, rather than trying to move them all over the place. The past several weeks, they’re seldom out of position.”

Jackson Jeffcoat and Cedric Reed have evolved into one of the country’s best 1-2 pass rush punches while the Texas secondary is suddenly swarming to the ball and a linebackers group without its leader in Jordan Hicks is doing its part as well.

“He was around and watched us but we didn’t really build a relationship with him until now,” Jeffcoat said of Robinson. “So it took a couple weeks and now it feels like he’s been here for a while. Things are starting to click.”

Gilbert passed for 538 yards and four touchdowns while running for 97 more yards and two other scores in a 59-49 victory over Rutgers last week – good enough to earn him Walter Camp national player of the week honors and give him the FBS lead in total yards per game at 408.3, nearly 20 more than the next closest player.

Heaps, meanwhile, is struggling. And his struggles won’t stop when he faces the stiff ball-swarming Greg Robinson-led Longhorns defense this Saturday.

Photo Credit: Charlie Pearce | Daily Texan Staff

Following the dismissal of Manny Diaz as defensive coordinator, Texas’ team and fans were in desperate need of a change. So naturally, when head coach Mack Brown named Greg Robinson the new defensive coordinator following the Longhorns’ blowout loss to Brigham Young University, people rejoiced more about Diaz’s departure than the arrival of the new face to the Texas defense. 

But following Texas’ most dominant defensive performance against Oklahoma in recent memory, it’s clear that Robinson isn’t just a stopgap until the end of the year — he made this defense believe.

His impact is most evident in the areas where Texas was weakest: putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks, causing turnovers and most importantly, rush defense. 

Under Diaz, Texas’ front four struggled to generate consistent pressure, combining for a single sack in the team’s first two games. But in the four games following Robinson’s promotion, the group totaled 10 sacks, two fumble recoveries, two interceptions and one touchdown. Senior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat has been especially dominant in that stretch, racking up five sacks and a game-sealing interception against Iowa State. 

Thanks to a rejuvenated pass rush, the Longhorns have been more active in the turnover category as well, forcing eight in the last four games — most memorable being senior defensive tackle Chris Whaley’s pick-six against Oklahoma on Saturday. It is plays like Whaley’s, which gave Texas a 10-3 lead it never relinquished, that can reverse the flow of an entire season. 

But the most drastic change came with Texas’ run defense. It was only five weeks ago when BYU rushed for a school-record 550 yards against Texas, resulting in Diaz’s dismissal. 

With Robinson at the helm, things have changed drastically. Since a 44-23 loss to Ole Miss in which the Longhorns surrendered 272 yards on the ground — Robinson’s first game in his new role — this defense has stepped up, surrendering 446 rushing yards the past three games. Saturday’s performance against Oklahoma was especially impressive, as Texas held Oklahoma to 130 yards on the ground, well below the 246 yards per game it averaged entering the game. 

The defense is totally different than the one that was on the field a month ago, and a big part of that is Robinson. The results reflect an alteration in coaching and schematic approach but more so, they show a change in the team’s mental makeup. The Longhorn defense no longer appears timid or uninspired. Led by Robinson, this team is playing motivated defense. 

Texas was not sharp on defense in Greg Robinson's first game as the Longhorns defensive coordinator this year, a 44-23 loss to Ole Miss, but was much improved in the following week's victory over Kansas State and is looking to continue progressing this week against Iowa State. 

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

More than three weeks ago, Mack Brown made a change. 

After an embarrassing showing in Provo, Utah, the longtime Longhorns head coach got rid of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and brought in Greg Robinson, a familiar face, to replace him. Robinson helped Texas win a Rose Bowl title as its defensive coordinator in 2004. The Longhorns are 1-1 since making his second debut as their defensive coordinator this year and has started to click better with the team since his impromptu arrival.

“[We’re] a lot more comfortable [with Robinson],” said senior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat. “We’re starting to really learn what he wants from us.  Everyday he gives us more and it’s easy to pick up because we understand how he coaches, his coaching style, everything like that.”

Since Robinson joined the team, the Longhorns have given up only 387 rushing yards — a huge area of concern for the defense — over two games. That is 163 yards less than the Diaz-led defense gave up on the ground to BYU, the last team Texas faced before Diaz was fired.

Diaz handed Robinson a defense that was, statistically, the worst defense in program history in 2012. Texas allowed 403 yards and 29.2 points per game last year. In the first two games of this season, the Longhorns allowed an average of 23.5 points and 513 total yards per game.

Robinson has helped change that.

“Defensively, you have to give Greg Robinson and the other coaches credit for bringing them back,” head coach Mack Brown said. “The players are obviously there. We missed fewer tackles.  We chased the ball better.  There were fewer people wide open.  I thought that’s the kind of defense we wanted to play coming into the season.” 

One of the biggest features that Robinson has brought to the team since his arrival is the outside look he has been able to provide. A two-time Super Bowl winner as the Denver Broncos’ defensive coordinator in the 1990s, Robinson has the ability to examine the team from a new perspective since, unlike Diaz, he hasn’t been around the team and looking at the same thing as them for the past two years.

Jeffcoat even brought in his classroom experience from his Business Management class to explain how Robinson has helped consult the defense with his outside look.

“In class we’ve been talking about something like this,” Jeffcoat said. “In companies you have certain ways you do things and you get stuck in those ways. If you bring somebody from the outside they can oversee and see if there’s a problem that needs to be fixed. It can work better because they aren’t thinking in the same mindset as groupthink and the way the group is. He was that outside guy that came in. He said ‘man I know what your problem is’ and was able to fix it.”

Jeffcoat joked his “company” wasn’t Enron and they weren’t that difficult to fix.

Come Thursday, Robinson will have had 12 days to prepare for Iowa State. He had a bye week gave him extra time to get his defense fully on track with his schemes and a chance to get a better look at the company he is now running.

“I think we are definitely growing,” said senior
cornerback Carrington Byndom.  “Of course, it was new when [Robinson] first got here.  But this is the second week.  We have no choice but to grow, and we will continue to grow throughout the rest of the year. Just keep improving.”

This week, Mack Brown has done something he has never done in his 16 years at Texas—make a coaching change mid-season.

It has happened around college football for the past few years and happens from time to time in the NFL, but under Brown, Texas has never made such a drastic change to its coaching staff like it did when it brought in Greg Robinson as the new defensive coordinator this week.

“Never done this before,” Brown said. “Obviously I’ve changed coordinators at the end of the year on both sides of the ball. Never done it during the season.”

The last time the Longhorns switched up coaches was after their 2010 season where they went 5-7, the first losing season under Brown. The coach revamped his whole coaching staff, a move that brought in now offensive coordinator Major Applewhite and now-demoted Manny Diaz.

Coaching changes, especially mid-season, will either fail for a team or benefit them. The team won’t stay the same. 

After starting the season 2-5, Georgia Tech fired its defensive coordinator Al Groh last season. Under the new interim play-caller, the Yellow Jackets went 4-2 and even made an appearance in the ACC Championship game. Georgia Tech was able to clinch a spot in the Sun Bowl where it eventually lost to USC.

Many also know the story of the Baltimore Ravens, who relieved their offensive coordinator Cam Cameron of his duties and promoted Jim Caldwell in his place. That move obviously benefited the Ravens who went on to win the Super Bowl.

Decisions such as these aren’t easy to make, but most of the time they have to be done.

“It [this mid-season change] is a lot different,” Brown said. “But, like I said, I’ve made hard decisions and had to change some coaches before. It’s one of the things in this business that people don’t like. At the same time coaches across the country have to win. The message is you have to make decisions when things aren’t going well to get them fixed.”

Mid-season coaching changes bring an added issue, however. The coach has a week turnaround period to get his squad to where it needs to be. Texas had a total of four practices with Robinson before its first game with the new coach.

“You adjust to [mid-season changes],” senior Carrington Byndom said. “That’s the only thing you can do. We know [Robinson] is going to come in and may implement some of his stuff but you just have to adjust to it. There’s nothing we can do, but continue to play for whoever’s coaching.”

Texas had an advantage, however. Robinson has been with the team since July as an analyst and already has an established relationship with secondary coach Duane Akina, who he co-coordinated with back in 2004.

“It is easier because Duane and Greg [Robinson] have worked together and Greg has been doing nothing but studying us since July,” Brown said. “So this isn’t like bringing someone in from the outside as much as it is someone that I trust with knowledge of us that’s been watching us the last three years who has been studying us every day since he came onboard July the 1st.”

Photo Credit: Joe Capraro | Daily Texan Staff

“Missed tackle,” “blown assignment,” “another missed tackle” and “touchdown Brigham Young.” For those who suffered through Texas’ loss at BYU this past weekend, the firing of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was expected. In fact, any lesser course of action would have been a surprise. Never before did a Longhorn defense look as overwhelmed as it did Saturday, providing one of the most embarrassing moments in program history. As a final salute to Diaz, here is a statistical look at just how bad things got in Provo, Utah, on Saturday.

While BYU quarterback Taysom Hill is clearly talented, he’s no Vince Young. Yet, Hill’s 259 rushing yards left him just eight yards shy of Young’s FBS record of 267 yards, accomplished in 2005. The unofficial stat was 24 missed tackles by the Longhorn defense. And it’s not as if Hill’s arm opened things up for the run game. Hill’s 34.6 completion percentage (9 for 26) was unimpressive, resulting in only 129 yards through the air. That’s right, the quarterback logged twice as many yards on the ground as he did through the air.

Hill wasn’t the only Cougar to prey on the Longhorn run defense. BYU running back Jamaal Williams played his part, too, gashing Texas for 183 yards on 30 carries. While his 6.1 yards-per-carry average pales in comparison to Hill’s 15.2-yard average, both are well above the FBS average.

BYU’s run game was stellar from start to finish, but the first half was particularly notable. By halftime, Texas had already surrendered 349 rushing yards, the most ever in a single half during the Mack Brown era. The Longhorns also scored three of their four touchdowns in the first 30 minutes.

Unfortunately for Brown, the Cougars didn’t let up. By the time the third quarter was over, BYU had already broken the record for most rush yards against a Texas defense, formerly held by Rice which torched Texas for 452 rushing yards back in 1997. When it was all said and done, the Cougars shattered the record, posting a total of 550 yards on 72 carries for a team average of 7.6 yards per carry. That was more than double the
Longhorns YPC mark of 3.4 in the game. 

Texas didn’t just lose its first non-conference road game since 2000 — it got stomped. With the talent, facilities and payroll dedicated to this program, Brown and Diaz have no excuse for this kind of performance. Greg Robinson is here to save the day, but for this defense, it may be too late.

Photo Credit: Joe Capraro | Daily Texan Staff

Two days after one of the worst defensive performances in program history, and one day after dismissing his defensive coordinator, Mack Brown isn’t feeling any pressure.

He’s disappointed, sure, maybe even a little angry. But pressure, at a school where the fans, media and alumni have steadily called for his job? Not even a little. Actually, he didn’t even talk around the answer. Brown brushed off the question with an authoritative “no.”

Brown sat in front of the media Monday morning and addressed one of the most turbulent weeks in Texas history, concluding with the dismissal of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. It’s the first time in Brown’s 16-year tenure that he has demoted or fired a coach in-season.

That fact alone is a beacon of desperation, no matter what the 62-year-old coach with a pedestrian 23-17 record for the last four years says.

Texas’ head coach smiled, calmly answered questions and even cracked a joke about the team’s offensive philosophy. But the underlying message from Brown, the players and even the Longhorn staff is clear: It’s a tense time in Austin.

Seniors Adrian Phillips and Carrington Byndom spoke with defeated looks in reference to Diaz getting demoted, and offensive coordinator Major Applewhite’s tone when addressing questions was so soft it was nearly inaudible.

Brown’s demeanor was different, though. He managed to be terse, yet approachable, almost as if he felt the team’s struggles don’t merit the attention garnered. Perhaps it’s just a matter of Brown staying calm in the face of controversy — it’s what a good coach should do after all — but the nonchalance shown wasn’t appropriate for a coach whose job is rumored to be on the line.

But no matter his attitude toward the situation, Brown should still be wary about his job status. He’s the second-highest paid coach in the FBS, the highest-paid state-compensated employee and he leads a starting lineup that includes more four and five-star recruits than the majority of FBS programs. Still, he’s led Texas to only four BCS appearances in 13 seasons, while his biggest rival, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops, has appeared in eight in that same span.

Texas’ struggles the past four seasons are almost inexplicable with the talent and resources the program features. This presents a problem, too, because it is Brown’s imperative to identify and solve the issue — a task he’s been just as successful at as the average couch-sitting, chip-eating, remote-throwing fan.

The Longhorns’ season isn’t over. One loss in the non-conference portion of the schedule is a setback, but a Big 12 championship in a conference defined by parity remains a possibility. But after the embarrassment against BYU last Saturday, it would be hard to envision any extended level of championship-level play.

The onus is on Brown to solve this riddle soon or his fate will mirror Diaz’s.

Wonder if he’s feeling any pressure now?

Photo Credit: Joe Capraro | Daily Texan Staff

Not even a full day passed after Texas’ disheartening 40-21 loss to Brigham Young University before head coach Mack Brown felt the need to make a change to his coaching staff.

Now, the burden falls on the players to make changes of their own.

After surrendering a school-record 550 rushing yards to the Cougars last Saturday, Texas’ defense enters into a state of transition. Players took the ousting of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz personally and plan on spending the week fixing the issues that have plagued the defense the past few seasons.

“When you give up 550-some yards on defense and the defensive coordinator gets fired the next day, you kind of feel responsible,” senior cornerback Carrington Byndom said. “We do take that upon ourselves. There’s nothing we can do about it but just continue to get better and strive to keep working for this weekend.”

The Longhorns struggled with poor tackling and allowed the Cougars to plow through the middle of the defense at will. Junior linebacker Jordan Hicks believes fixing the issue starts with better execution and says achieving this starts with ensuring the Longhorn defenders are on the same page on every play.

“I think a lot of that comes with understanding why we’re doing what we’re doing,” Hicks said. “Whatever just needs to be done, like ask more questions, get in the film room more, whatever — we’ve got to be able to know that we’re doing everything right and going through practice and feeling very confident coming out on Saturdays knowing that we’ve prepared.”

Diaz’s replacement is former Texas co-defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, who comes with 36 years of coaching experience. Robinson began working as a football analyst for the Longhorns in July, and Brown believes that he will make an immediate impact in improving the team’s pursuit to the ball. 

“He makes great adjustments,” Brown said. “When he was here before, we tackled very well. We chased the ball. We were very sound fundamentally, and he’s a guy that kids love to play for.”

The Longhorns know enhancing their run defense is a vital step in keeping points off the board and getting the ball back in the hands of the offense. That’s where Robinson comes in — he was successful in stopping the run with a 2004 Texas team that relinquished just 107.4 yards on the ground per game.

Robinson has only four days of practice with his new team before Texas lines up against Ole Miss on Saturday. The coordinator met briefly with the Texas players for the first time Sunday evening, and Hicks admits that he is unsure of whether Robinson will employ changes to the schemes they ran under Diaz.

“I don’t know what to expect defensively,” Hicks said. “I’m not sure if we’re sticking with the same stuff or taking it in a new direction. I have no clue. We haven’t talked about it yet.”

It was deja vu on Saturday evening. Texas appeared to be the 2012 team it didn’t want to be.  

After close to a two-hour weather delay, Brigham Young University and Texas took the field for a game that the Longhorns definitely want back. The 40-21 loss for Texas brought flashbacks of the 2012 team, the same defensive unit that was the worst in school history. 

“We didn’t get done what we needed to do on either side of the ball,” head coach Mack Brown said. “They’re smart. They understand that we didn’t get our job done as players or coaches.”

Texas started slow both offensively and defensively. The Longhorn defense gave up 349 rushing yards to BYU in the first half alone, the most it has allowed in one half in the last 10 seasons. In total, Manny Diaz’s defense gave up 550 yards on the ground, which broke a dubious record for the most rushing yards allowed in a single game in program history.  

Texas’ offense was without star Daje Johnson, who left the game in the first quarter with an ankle injury. It got worse for Texas when Ash eventually left the game after being shaken up on a scramble in the fourth quarter.

Major Applewhite’s offense struggled without Johnson, who is a key weapon for the Longhorns on the ground and in the air. Texas was only able to capitalize on three drives in the game, which was a problem Brown hoped to solve with the team’s new up-tempo offense.

“When you lose a guy that’s involved in packages, like Daje, obviously you’ve got to find somebody else to put in that place, and certain things immediately go out the window,” Applewhite said. 

In the second half, Texas showed no improvement. BYU quarterback Taysom Hill was able to lead his team down the field for another 13 points while the Longhorns failed to produce points on offense.

Diaz’s defense has faced criticism in the past for not being able to stop the run game, and the unit struggled once again Saturday night. Hill ran over Texas’ defense, recording 259 rushing yards — the second most yards in a single game in BYU history.

“They got after us,” Diaz said. “They outplayed us. The quarterback obviously was the difference in the game. We just could not execute getting stops. Very disappointing.” 

All Brown could do was explain the obvious and he did it quite simply.

“I didn’t think our coaches and our players lived up to what we needed to win tonight, including me,” Brown said.



Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz
Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

One day after Texas surrendered a school-record 550 rushing yards in a 40-21 loss to Brigham Young University, Texas relieved Manny Diaz of his defensive coordinator duties. UT confirmed the news on Sunday.

“Our performance on defense last night was unacceptable, and we need to change that,” head coach Mack Brown said.

Diaz, who will be reassigned to a role in the schools’ athletic department, will be replaced by former Texas defensive coordinator Greg Robinson. Robinson is a 36-year veteran coach, and called the defensive plays for the Longhorns’ 2004 Rose Bowl-winning team.

“Greg will be here tonight and get with the staff and players to start preparing for Ole Miss,” Brown said. “He will be running our defense immediately. 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.”

Diaz, in his third season at Texas, led the Longhorns to the worst defensive season in school history in 2012, allowing a school record 5,244 yards. The team vowed change in 2013, but the Cougars compiled yards at will on Saturday evening, breaking numerous BYU records and setting dubious Longhorn marks.

The 39-year-old former defensive coordinator guided the Big 12’s top-ranked defense in 2011, but has failed to find that level of success since. When players were asked about Diaz’s job after the game Saturday, his players did voice their support.

“We all believe in coach Diaz,” cornerback Quandre Diggs said. “He put us in the right spots to make plays. We don’t make plays, can’t blame everything on him.”

Robinson last served as a defensive coordinator at Michigan from 2009 to 2010, following a stint as Syracuse’s head coach from 2005 to 2008. The 61-year-old Robinson also has 14 years of NFL experience, including a stint as the Broncos’ defensive coordinator when they won a pair of Super Bowls.

Robinson served as Texas’ co-defensive coordinator with Duane Akina for the team’s 2004 Rose Bowl victory over Michigan. Texas held its opponents to 320.1 yards (23rd in FBS) and 17.9 points per game (18th in the FBS) that season.

“I need to get with the staff, work with them to get a plan in place and hit the ground running,” Robinson said. “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.”

Diaz is the first coordinator or assistant Brown removed or fired in-season throughout his 16-year tenure at Texas. Robinson’s first job will be to prepare his team for Ole Miss’ explosive attack, which arrives in Austin on Saturday.