- Jake Trotter, ESPN Staff Writer
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Texas coach Mack Brown said on Saturday night he needed to watch the BYU tape before deciding what to do with defensive coordinator Manny Diaz.
Apparently, the tape was just as bad as the live performance.
As a result, Brown will turn to a former assistant who’s been doing nothing but watching tape to rescue his beleaguered defense.
Sunday, Brown announced that he had replaced Diaz with Greg Robinson, who was already on the Texas payroll as a consultant living in Los Angeles. Robinson, who was the defensive coordinator on the Longhorns’ 2004 team that won the Rose Bowl, was hired over the summer to review film and collect data.
Saturday, he’ll be calling the Texas defense against Ole Miss.
“We're very fortunate that Greg has been around, watched all of our practice video and has a good scouting report moving forward,” Brown said in a statement. “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."
Brown has reason to be excited about having Robinson back. In Robinson’s only season in Austin, the Longhorns featured the No. 23 defense in the country. Texas was especially tough against the run that season, allowing an average of 107 rushing yards a game. The Longhorns gave up more than five times that amount in their 40-21 loss on Saturday to the Cougars, whose 550 rushing yards were the most ever against a Texas defense.
"This is a tough deal for everyone involved, but I love The University of Texas, and Coach Brown has been wonderful to me," Robinson said in a statement. "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.”
Because of his performance in ’04, Robinson lasted only one season at Texas. Yet because of his performance since then, Robinson was available for Brown to rehire.
After the Longhorns went 11-1 and beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl, Syracuse hired Robinson to be its head coach. But in four years with the Orange, Robinson went just 10-37 with a record of 3-26 in the Big East and was fired with two games remaining in the 2008 season.
Robinson landed the Michigan defensive coordinator job the following season. But like at Syracuse, Robinson struggled, and the Wolverines ranked 82nd and 110th nationally in total defense during his two years as defensive coordinator. After the 2010 season, which featured the worst statistical defense in Michigan history, the Wolverines fired both Robinson and head coach Rich Rodriguez.
Since then, Robinson has been out of coaching college football.
And because the tape was so bad, the former video analyst now faces the task of turning around this Texas defense in person.
13hTom VanHaaren and Erik McKinney