It Should Have Never Come To This
10-37. That was Greg Robinson's record as head coach of the Syracuse Orangemen. Four years and nothing but a miserable failure. These were the years 2005-2008. The previous year Greg Robinson was at the University Of Texas as the defensive coordinator. Texas finished 11-1 that year with their only loss a tough, hard fought 12-0 defeat to Oklahoma. This was just 6 years after Robinson had won back to back Super Bowls as the defensive coordinator with the Denver Broncos. There is overwhelming evidence in both professional and collegiate sports that some men are made to be head coaches and some are made to be offensive/defensive coordinators. Yet Greg Robinson still made the enormous blunder of leaving Texas for a school rich in football mediocrity. How could Robinson not see how good Vince Young was and how a National Championship season was unfolding the very next year? Hiring Greg Robinson was perhaps the best move Mack Brown has made at Texas. The Longhorns had lost 4 in a row to Oklahoma and had surrendered over 60 points twice. Despite the fifth consecutive loss to the Sooners it was apparent the defense was vastly improved. Letting Greg Robinson go was undeniably the worst move Mack Brown has made at Texas. Brown has had one great recruiting class after another at Texas. And for the most part it has served him well. The last 4 years though have been a rigorous exercise in underachieving. After losing in a most embarassing fashion to BYU in September, Brown finally realized his crucial mistake 9 years earlier. He fired Manny Diaz and brought Greg Robinson back.
The reason Mack Brown has been, for the most part, so successful at Texas is simply personality. He has it and he shares it with the players he recruits and they flock to Austin because of it. With regards to in game coaching ability, his job is pretty much to argue with and try and influence the officials. But coaching is what coordinators are for. If you listen to Robinson talk you can see immediately that personality takes a back seat to football know how. When Texas had found their man on the defensive side of the ball they should have done EVERYTHING IMAGINABLE to keep him aboard. I believe Manny Diaz was making(and still is) $700,000 in 2013. The University could afford to pay Robinson whatever he wanted. Why would Robinson want to leave anyway. You would think that he is aware of the countless number of assistant coaches who have tried head coaching and gone on to crash and burn. I don't have to look any further than Will Muschamp at Florida. Oh wait he too used to be a defensive coordinator at Texas. And he, like Robinson, will not dazzle you with his pre and post and during game interviews. In fact, he wears egg on his face when we look back at his comment after Texas announced Muschamp as their "head coach to succeed Mack Brown", Muschamp said "This is a special place. I think it is the elite job in the country." And he, like Robinson, has done nothing but move on and turn some other program into shambles.
What Mack Brown clearly fails to understand is the importance of a right hand man. He obviously thinks he can win no matter who his coordinators are. It has taken a losing season, two more humiliating loses to Oklahoma, and failure to win 10 games three years in a row for him to realize otherwise. When Muschamp left Brown could have again had any defensive coordinator he wanted. The choice of Manny Diaz seems like it was made with the intent of permanance. I'm sure Brown was sick and tired of losing his coaches and picked someone of relative obscurity; someone he believed was not going to be sought after as a head coach. After all if you look at Diaz's credentials he would seem to be far down the list of potential Divison I coaches. He had one good year at Mississippi State and before that was at Middle Tennessee State. Most people would not consider that to be an elite pedigree. But let's go back further to when Brown first got to Texas in 1998. His defensive coordinator at North Carolina was Carl Torbush. The Tar Heels led the nation in total defense three years in a row and produced a professional linebacker every single year while Torbush was there. Torbush was the only man to stay with Brown his entire tenure at North Carolina. So maybe Brown did understand the importance of a right hand man but when he left for Austin he somehow inexplicably forgot to bring him. Or maybe Torbush was yet another good defensive football coach who was not smart enough to realize that some coaches are not cut out to stand in the head coaches spotlight. Yes it was the latter. Torbush's record at North Carolina before getting fired? 17-18.