Texas coach Mack Brown is in self-preservation mode and he made it clear Sunday that anyone who jeopardizes Texas’ return to prominence will not be tolerated.
That’s why defensive coordinator Manny Diaz is now unemployed.
Diaz’s defense embarrassed the entire city of Austin after allowing a school-record 550 rushing yards to a BYU team that lost to Virginia the week before. BYU quarterback Taysom Hill had 259 yards and three rushing touchdowns on 17 carries.
Greg Robinson, who was the Longhorns defensive coordinator in 2004, will step in.
"Our performance on defense last night was unacceptable, and we need to change that," Brown said in 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."
It’s not like Diaz’s departure should be a surprise to anyone. His defense was miserable a year ago and allowed more yards per game than any other defense in Texas history. He even tried to get out of town by applying for the Florida International head coaching position before taking his name out of the hat.
While moves like this don’t usually happen heading into the third week of the season, Texas fans should be encouraged by Brown’s swiftness to make a change. When Robinson was the defensive coordinator, the Longhorns ranked No. 23 in total defense and No. 18 in scoring defense, allowing 17.92 points per game.
Brown understands the pressure. He understands that he only has so many lives remaining and that the fanbase is beyond weary of his excuses. He couldn’t have let Diaz stay and expect to keep his own job. This move might have bought Brown some time, but if they don’t turn things around in a hurry, Diaz won’t be the only one out on the street.