At Big 12 Media Day, Texas coach Tom Herman told reporters he had the best defensive coordinator in college football in Todd Orlando.
That’s a strong statement, and if true, Orlando may wonder why Clemson’s defensive coordinator, Brent Venables, just signed a five-year, $11.6 million deal a few weeks ago.
But it’s not just Orlando that highlights the current staff. Oscar Giles has been one of the better defensive line coaches, and recruiters, for a while and Stan Drayton, the running back coach, helped Ohio State rush its way to a title in 2014.
This current coaching staff has talent and for all we know there are future head coaches at every spot, but what was the best collection of coaches on staff for Texas?
First, we’ll preface this and say we’re starting with the Darrell Royal era and we’re stopping with the Charlie Strong era to give us time span. Here are five of the best coaching staffs Texas ever assembled:
The Longhorns coaching staff included one of the best offensive coordinators in program history – Greg Davis – and included one of the former deans of DBU, Duane Akina, as co-defensive coordinator. But the star of Mack Brown’s staff this year was Gene Chizik, who would go on to be a head coach at Iowa State and Auburn, where he won a national title. This staff also featured Giles, Mike Tolleson (special teams), Mac McWhorter (offensive line), Bobby Kennedy (wide receivers), Ken Rucker ( running backs) and tight end coach Bruce Chambers.
Yes, unsurprisingly the best team of the last 30 years at Texas had a great coaching staff.
Darrell Royal’s staff at Texas in 1972 featured future Longhorn head coach (the third most successful coach) Fred Akers as the offensive coordinator, the most successful defensive coordinator in Texas football history, Mike Campbell, future Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes and David McWilliams, another future Texas Tech and Texas head coach. This staff also featured several longtime Royal assistants such as Leon Manley, Pat Patterson and Bill Ellington.
Akers and Campbell were on staff along with several members of the 1972 team including Manley, Patterson, Will Zapalac and Ellington, but this staff also included Emory Bellard as the offensive coordinator, and Bellard invented the wishbone offense in 1968 as the offensive coordinator and changed football forever. He would go on to coach Texas A&M.
Brown’s first staff at Texas included Davis, longtime defensive coordinator Carl Reese and future Texas State head coach Everett Withers. But perhaps the biggest star of this staff was tight end coach Tim Brewster, who had been on Brown’s staff for nine years at North Carolina. A master recruiter who helped Brown land some of the best players in Texas history, Brewster was eventually hired as head coach of Minnesota. He is now the tight ends coach for Texas A&M.
Davis was in place as the OC, Akina was still the co-defensive coordinator, but Brown added former Denver Broncos Super Bowl winning defensive coordinator Greg Robinson to the staff as co-defensive coordinator following Reese’s retirement. Much of the 2005 staff was on this team, but some of the different names were Michael Haywood, who one day would become the head coach of the Miami Redhawks and would be hired as the head coach at Pittsburgh but never coached there after being arrested for felony domestic violence charges. Those charges were later dismissed. Haywood is now the head coach at Texas Southern.
This staff also included Dick Tomey who was the head coach at Hawaii from 1977-1986 and Arizona from 1987-2000.
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