Brown Adds NFL D Experience In Robinson and Tomey

If it helped win national championships at USC and LSU last season, then maybe it will at Texas. Standing on the premise that NFL coaching experience is the missing ingredient for his title aspirations, head Coach <b>Mack Brown</b> on Tuesday named former Kansas City Chief Defensive Coordinator <b>Greg Robison</b> as Texas' Co-Defensive Coordinator while former San Francisco 49er assistant coach <b>Dick Tomey</b> will be his Assistant Coach in charge of defensive ends.

"If you go back and study this year's national championship teams, the first thing you see is there is some pro influence with Nick Saban at LSU and they play great defense," Brown said. "If you look at what Pete Carroll has been able to do in bringing some of his knowledge from the NFL back into college football and the success that they've had this year at S.C., it's what we're all trying to get to."

Robinson will share defensive coordinator duties with former Assistant Head Coach Duane Akina, who will continue to coach defensive backs. Robinson, who will also coach linebackers "will have the final say" in calling the defense, Brown added.

Brown said the defensive changes will allow him to "spend more time with the offense" before reiterating his belief that no coaching changes were in order following the 10-3 season in which Texas finished No. 11/12 nationally.

"What we felt we needed to do was look at how we need to get from 11-wins and 10-wins to 13-and-14 (wins)," Brown said. "Our program hasn't been this consistent in a long time. We haven't been in a position to play for the final game as much we have been the last three years in along time."

The coaching changes follow defensive coordinator Carl Reese's decision to retire in June while recruiting coordinator/DE coach Hardee McCrary made his resignation official just last week. No Texas coach has been named to head recruiting but, Brown said, "Our recruiting is done for now. We're just doing the finishing before Signing Day (February 4) but these new coaches today will be exciting to our recruits tonight."

Still, the staff additions represent a relatively quick turnaround. Robinson was (a-hem) released from his Kansas City contract little more than a week after the perennial Super Bowl also-ran Chiefs finished with an otherwise respectable 13-4 season. Both Robinson and Tomey flew into Austin Monday night and were officially offered the jobs at 1 p.m., Tuesday, Brown said. Both accepted the positions within the hour, Brown added.

"You never dream about having an opportunity to get a guy like (Robinson) back to college because they make so much money," Brown said, "and usually at that level they're talking about coaching in the NFL."

In 2003, Robinson's Chiefs produced 36 sacks (6th AFC), 25 INT (2nd AFC) and forced 37 turnovers (3rd AFC). With 14 years NFL experience, Robinson was the Denver defensive coordinator (1995-2000) during the Broncos' back-to-back Super Bowl championships in 1997 and 1998. He was also the New York Jets Defensive Coordinator in 1994.

"I've spent the last 14 years in professional football getting ready for this trip down here to Texas," Robinson said. "I finally made it."

Uh-huh. When pressed, what he really meant was:

"I've had 14 great years of professional football but the opportunity to come to The University of Texas is very exciting. College football is something that I truly enjoyed and something that I felt very strongly a part of."

Robinson was the offensive coordinator at UCLA in 1989 before coaching the New York Jets defensive line the following season.

Tomey ended a one-season stint as the 49ers nickel package coach following three years as a sports color commentator for ESPN. He is best remembered for his 14-year run as the head coach at Arizona (1987-2000) where he became the school's all-time victory leader (95-64-4) that produced the renowned Desert Swarm defense. His 1998 team went 12-1 and finished No. 4 nationally.

Tomey briefly met with the team just before Tuesday's press conference.

"I'm already very, very taken with the kind of young people that I'm going to have a chance to work with," Tomey said. "I let them know we're going to raise the bar in terms of their effort and what we're going to demand of them. At the same time, we're going to try to develop relationships with them that are strong and that we'll all feel very good about. I'm going to start tomorrow morning meeting with the players individually because I believe you have to get under the surface with people because football is really not a complicated game, (but) people are complicated. You have to be able to get the most out of each other."

Philosophically, Tomey said he is more concerned with a player's attitude than a particular defensive scheme.

"I want a scheme that is sound, simple and one that we can execute to perfection in crisis situations," Tomey said. He also wants a defense that is known for its "hard-hitting" approach that "defends the goal line with a passion."

The move reunites Akina with Tomey. Akina directed the DBs and coordinated the offense when Tomey was head coach at Arizona (1987-2000).

"All of us remember a year (1994) where they held teams to about 30 yards rushing which is just unheard of and phenomenal," Brown said.

Finally, I had a chance to catch up with DT Rodrique Wright following the press conference and asked not only what the coaching additions meant to the defense but what the post-Holiday Bowl staff re-structuring meant to him personally.

"It was strange for us," Wright said of Reese's and McCrary's resignation. "Everyone was surprised because we felt as a defense we played pretty good in the bowl. When he resigned, it was weird for us. Since then, everyone accepted it and we're real excited because change is always good. It's just real exciting to hear the news today."

The Horns, and the new coaches, are slated to begin Spring Training on March 1.


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