How Mack found Greg

Originally Published: April 8, 2004
By Bob Davie | Special to

AUSTIN -- When Mack Brown started his search for a new defensive coordinator, he wanted someone who had experience in a scheme that proved it could stop the run and force turnovers. He also wanted a package that would put an emphasis on disguising coverages, be balanced between zone and man-to-man pass defense and utilize the zone blitz.

While evaluating college statistics and formulating a list of college coaches that had been successful, he received a phone call from Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan. Shanahan called to recommend Greg Robinson, who was on his staff at Denver from 1995-2000 and was the defensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs from 2001 until he resigned after last season.

Another New Face
Greg Robinson is not the only new member of Mack Brown's defensive staff at Texas. Another new addition is former Arizona and Hawaii head coach Dick Tomey.

Tomey comes to Texas after serving on Dennis Erickson's San Francisco 49ers staff last year. He is excited about his return to college football and a great fit at Texas because he and Brown are great friends. Tomey brings plenty of head coaching experience to Austin and will be coaching the defensive ends. He will also be the assistant head coach and help in some administrative areas, including the academic program and strength training.
--Bob Davie
Brown had never met Robinson, but strong recommendations from USC's Pete Carroll, Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil and San Francisco 49ers general manager Terry Donahue -- all of whom worked with Robinson -- convinced Brown that this was the right fit.

Brown was also influenced by the recent success of former NFL coaches like Carroll and Nebraska's Bo Pelini.

Even though some Longhorn fans are skeptical of the hiring because of the well-documented defensive collapse of the Chiefs last season, Robinson is an excellent coach who brings a lot of NFL and college experience to Texas. He is obviously talented, having won two Super Bowl rings as the defensive coordinator at Denver, and well prepared to deal with the high expectations and scrutiny that come in Austin.

No one can argue with the success Texas has had on defense since Brown arrived. Over the last six years, they have finished first, sixth and seventh in total defense. As successful as they have been statistically, they have also had some breakdowns in big games. Last year, for example, they gave up more than 60 points to Oklahoma and well over 500 yards to Texas Tech. There is an urgency to get Texas to the next level defensively and win championships.

The scheme Robinson will bring to Texas will be multiple and balanced. On running downs, it will be an eight-man front designed to stop the run first. In the past, Texas has been primarily a man team. Now, they will be balanced between zone and man. There will be more zone blitz and an emphasis on disguising coverages. Texas will also have multiple substitution packages matching up to offensive personnel on the field.

Bob Davie is an analyst for ESPN and his Football 101 is a weekly feature on during the season.

Bob Davie

College Football
Bob Davie, a veteran college football coach of 25 years, most recently as head coach at the University of Notre Dame, serves as an analyst on college football game telecasts and select studio shows.