After allowing a school-record 550 rushing yards on Saturday night, the Texas Longhorns ousted third-year defensive coordinator Manny Diaz on Sunday afternoon, according to a report from Chip Brown of Orangebloods, confirmed a short time later by Horns247 ($) and then Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman.
Texas released these statements a short time later:
Mack Brown -- "Our performance on defense last night was unacceptable, and we need to change that. 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."
Greg Robinson -- "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.
The fall from grace for Diaz was spectacular -- entering the 2012 season, he was seen as a wunderkind, a coordinator not bound by the traditional lines of thinking and one of the up-and-comers in the coaching profession after leading strong defenses at Mississippi State and Middle Tennessee State that gave offenses trouble across the country. Over the last year, he's been exposed as a coordinator unable to teach basic assignment football against schemes run across college football and that eventually cost him his job as head coach Mack Brown tries to save his.
After the BYU game, it sounded as if Diaz knew that it was over. His voice was hoarse and he sounded broken, like a man whose job it was to impose his will on his defense and failed. Because that's what he was.
So the eyes of Texas will now apparently turn to the next defensive coordinator. According to Orangebloods, the Horns have elevated football analyst Greg Robinson to the position, one that he held in 2004, though his subsequent coaching jobs were all poor enough that he is no longer in demand and has been working as a football analyst since this summer, evaluating the film of opponents. There was speculation when he was hired that he could be a potential replacement for Diaz if things went sideways this season. And it didn't take long for things to go well sideways.
One thing that Robinson did well as the defensive coordinator in 2004? Instill some toughness in a unit that had been lacking it under former coordinator Carl Reese, working especially on having the team rally to the football on every play. But that was something that Diaz had been doing and Robinson's defenses were so terrible at Michigan that it's hard to to have much confidence in his hire.
Robinson will also have to decide how much he wants to change the defensive schemes -- he doesn't have time to install what he would like to run, so he's going to have to adapt his own philosophies to those of Diaz.
The change at defensive coordinator may not result in much improvement over what happened against BYU, but it is a strong sign that the pressure is increasing on Mack Brown. That it's no longer enough to keep saying that he's going to fix things.