Posted January 3rd, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Will Muschamp is fired upLarry Mac Duff’s office chair isn’t even cool yet (I didn’t even have time to post the news of him leaving) and already the rumors are flying fast and furious that we may have a replacement.

Orangebloods.com reported just before lunch that Auburn’s [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag] was a possible candidate to be Texas’ next defensive coordinator and by five they were reporting he’d been interviewed and offered the job. We should be hearing more tomorrow already, with a final decision possibly being made as early as this evening.

Muschamp is a big name and would make big news around college football. At only 36 he’s already on the fast track to being a head coach. In fact, rumor on the Auburn message boards is that he wouldn’t be going anywhere as a defensive coordinator unless he was promised the head coaching position.

He’s young, fiery, and best of all has experience coaching linebackers. Oh, and like all smart men, he hates the Piggies:

Muschamp played safety at Georgia from 1991 – 1994 (yes Dad, you’re getting old) and has an impressive coaching resume. From Wikipedia:

Year School/Team Position
1995–1996 Auburn Graduate assistant
1998 West Georgia Defensive backs
1999 Eastern Kentucky Defensive backs
2000 Valdosta State Defensive coordinator
2001-04 LSU Linebackers/Defensive coord.
2005 Miami Dolphins Asst. Head Coach for Defense
2006 Auburn Defensive coordinator

Stay tuned… if news breaks, we’ll break in.

Update: It is being reported (again by Orangebloods, best $10/month you can spend) that Muschamp was offered a “Jimbo Fisher deal.” The Florida State offensive coordinator was lured away from LSU by the promise that he would be the coach to succeed the legendary Bobby Bowden. If this is true, Muschamp would likely have something in his contract that paid him a large buyout if he is let go or if someone other than himself is selected to follow Mack Brown as Texas coach. Biggest difference, Bowden is 78 and Mack is still a relatively young 56. (9:44 pm)

Update: It doesn’t look an official announcement will come tonight, but multiple sources at both Texas and Auburn are reporting that it’s a done deal. An agreement is reportedly in place between Texas and Muschamp but papers haven’t been signed yet. Don’t want to count chickens yet but it sure looks like Will Muschamp is going to be your next Texas defensive coordinator. (11:14 pm)

Update: The Huntsville Times is reporting the deal is done. Hook ’em! (Friday, 5:09 pm)

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Posted January 9th, 2007 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Duane Akina[tag]Larry Mac Duff[/tag] is the new name but Duane Akina is Texas’ new defensive coordinator.

The biggest news related to the surprise hire of Mac Duff is that [tag]Duane Akina[/tag] will now be calling the plays for the Texas defense. Under the previous regime coach Gene Chizik was the one really in charge of the defense and was the one calling the shots on Saturdays. Even though Chizik and Akina shared the defensive coordinator title, Chizik was the one who received the hype and he was the one who was referred to as “the defensive coordinator.” Now Akina is 1A and Mac Duff is 1B.

What we do know about Akina is that despite this year’s performance he is an one of the nation’s top secondary coaches and a good recruiter. His promotion means no disruption to the current players or to recruiting. Akina is a guy who has loyalty to Mack Brown and to the University of Texas so unlike the last two guys we can expect him to stick around longer than a year or two.

The Alamo Bowl was Akina’s tryout for the job but I’m not sure if it was enough for us as fans to get a good idea of his coaching ability or style. He was working with Chizik’s guys and didn’t have enough time to get his scheme into place. After struggling mightily in the first half, Akina and the Texas defense stepped it up a little in the second half and came up with the big stops when needed. One game is not enough for us to draw any conclusions from. We don’t have any idea what kind of job he’ll do making defensive calls on gameday or how good he’ll be at making in game adjustments. Next year it’ll be trial by fire and I think Akina has earned that opportunity.

The Mac Duff hire will be great news for the Texas linebackers and special teams play. He’s got experience and success at every level with those two groups and those spots have been a weakness for the Longhorns in recent years. Texas has a lot of young talent at linebacker and all three starters returning at the position, but it still wouldn’t surprise me to see three new starters next year. Sergio Kindle, Roddrick Muckelroy, and Jared Norton are all big, fast and athletic and I think most Texas fans are excited about those guys being on the field a lot more in 2007.

Whoever Mack brought in to replace Chizik needed to be a compliment to Akina because it’s clear Brown likes him and the players do as well. Mac Duff fits perfectly. He’s got a solid relationship with Akina and unlike Chizik and Jerry Gray he’s a true linebackers coach. A bigger name hire might have made more of a splash nationally and made some fans happy, but it would’ve caused more of a disruption to the team and depending on the hire might have meant replacing Akina as well. Brown decided that the Akina and Mac Duff together could do a better job helping the Longhorns win games than any of the other big names would do.

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Larry Mac DuffMack Brown has named former University of Arizona defensive coordinator and current 49ers’ special teams coach Larry Mac Duff as the new Texas co-defensive coordinator. Mac Duff will be the co-DC with Duane Akina and will be in charge of the linebackers, something he has extensive experience with unlike previous coordinator Gene Chizik. Akina is a longtime friend of Mac Duff when they both worked under former Texas coach Dick Tomey in Arizona. We should see immediate improvement from the linebacking corps and the special teams. Interestingly, Akina will handle the defensive play-calling on game days.

We’ll have more thoughts on this news later today.

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