Five things you need to know about defensive coordinator Greg Robinson

Garrett Callahan

It's official: Texas relieved Manny Diaz of his defensive coordinator duties and named Greg Robinson as his replacement.

Here are five things you need to know about Texas’ new defensive coordinator:

He’s not new to Texas

Robinson is a familiar face to the Longhorn program. He served as the co-defensive coordinator for Texas with Duane Akina for Texas’ Rose Bowl victory in the 2004 season. He led his team to an 11-1 season, including the Longhorns’ first BCS Bowl win against Michigan.

Robinson has been with Texas since July as a football analyst. Brown hired the veteran coach to assist him in quality control evaluation, film review and data collection, among other things.

He has experience

Robinson has 36 years of coaching, which includes 14 seasons in the NFL.

The 61-year-old coach spent 10 years as a defensive coordinator in NFL with the New York Jets (1994), Denver Broncos (1995-2000) and Kansas City Chiefs (2001-03). Robinson served as the Broncos' defensive coordinator when they won back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998.

Robinson also has plenty of collegiate experience. Before moving to the NFL, he had stints at Cal State Fullerton, North Carolina State, University of the Pacific and UCLA. After his time at Texas, he became the head coach at Syracuse for four seasons and followed that with a stint as Michigan’s defensive coordinator from 2009 to 2010.

Robinson's Texas history

In 2004, when Robinson called the defensive plays that helped lead Texas to a Rose Bowl title, the Longhorns ran a 4-3 defense, similar to this year’s squad.

The defense hasn’t changed much — style-wise at least — since Robinson last coached for the Longhorns. He still has Akina helping him out in the secondary, and the base defense remains the same. The only real difference between the defense between the two is coaching. 

Texas should see run defense improvement

Compare Robinson’s defense in 2004 to Texas’ defense in 2012 and it’s basically night and day. Last season, the Longhorns gave up 192.2 yards per game on the ground, but under Robinson they gave up 107.4.

In addition, the 2004 defense gave up only 320.1 total yards per game, the 23rd best mark in the country.  

Only pay attention to Robinson’s defensive capabilities

Robinson doesn’t have a good track record as a head coach. In his four seasons as head coach at Syracuse he went 10-37.

However, Mack Brown didn’t make Robinson the new head coach; he made him the defensive coordinator. Because as a defensive play caller, he’s accumulated two Super Bowl rings and a Rose Bowl Championship. Robinson has the needed experience and skills that can help turn the defense around. He instilled a toughness and grit into the defense in 2004.

Now, he needs to do the same for the 2013 iteration.