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Tag:Duane Akina
Posted on: February 15, 2011 10:47 am
 

Jerry Gray leaves 'Horns to become Titan DC

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Mack Brown's wild ride of an offseason took another hairpin curve this past weekend.

We would explain, but the first three sentences of this Austin-American Statesman story do so so succinctly we'll let them do it:
On Jan. 17, Jerry Gray described returning to his alma mater to coach Texas ' defensive backs as "a dream come true."

It was a short-lived dream.

On Saturday, 25 days after he was hired as Duane Akina 's replacement, Gray accepted the position of defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans .

Gray's decision leaves Brown to hire his seventh new coach of this offseason, and arrived just as Brown began overseeing the annual Longhorn "junior days" recruiting extravaganza. The timing could be better.

But as we wrote when news of Gray's potential interest in the Titan's defensive coordinating position first surfaced, things overall could definitely be worse. Brown's already had to make two far more critical hires this offseason in naming his two coordinators, and by nearly everyone's account he aced that exam with Manny Diaz and Bryan Harsin. If Gray's absence doesn't help at junior days, it's also better he departs now rather either before this past Signing Day or before his absence becomes a dealbreaker for any prospects in the class of 2012. And without the pressure of Signing Day, Brown may also be able to take more time and make a better selection for the open position than he would otherwise; it's not like there will be any shortage of candidates to work for a program who'll pay their position coaches the $425,000 salary Gray was due to receive.

So Brown will be all right. (As will Gray, who'll no doubt regret the "dream come true" comment but made the decision -- between being a college position coach and NFL coordinator, at more than double the paycheck -- that any coach in his position would.) But it's also only fair to say that in the wake of Gray's defection, what must already feel like the longest offseason of Brown's Texas tenure just got that much longer.


Posted on: January 17, 2011 11:42 am
 

Report: Texas loses DBs coach Akina to Arizona

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Mack Brown must have known that after the staggering disappointment of his Texas team's 5-7 2010 season, it was going to take a lot of work to get the Longhorns back on track. But even he might not have known how much work there was really going to be.

First there was the defection of coach-in-not-waiting-any-longer Will Muschamp to Florida. Then came the departure of four other coaches who were not asked to return to the Longhorn staff by Brown. And now multiple outlets are reporting that longtime secondary coach Duane Akina will be leaving Austin after 10 seasons to take the same position at Arizona.

This report from the Houston Chronicle cites sources claiming that the deal had not been finalized just yet, but added that Brown was "not shocked" Akina might bolt to a school where he spent 14 seasons in the '80s and '90s. (CBS's own Bryan Fischer also reported that Akina was the only Texas assistant not wearing a Longhorn t-shirt at the recent American Football Coaches Association convention.) At this stage, all signs point towards Akina making the departure official ... oh, any minute now.

It's just one more headache for Brown as he tries to piece together his new staff. Four coaches have already been hired, including an impressive new pair of coordinators in Bryan Harsin and Manny Diaz, but the Longhorns still have no offensive line coach after both Auburn's Jeff Grimes and Oklahoma State's Bob Wickline told Brown "thanks, but no thanks." With Signing Day only days away and key recruits hanging in the balance (behind Grimes, Auburn has made a late charge for five-star tackle Christian Westerman), Brown now has to worry about finding not one but two coaches with most of the quality candidates already locked up.

Brown's handled worse, and with Harsin and Diaz in the fold, his most critical hires have already been completed in optimism-inspiring fashion. But until the last of the six new faces on staff are in place and their impact on the 'Horns 2011 recruiting class is decided, Brown's not going to sleep easy, and neither will Texas fans.

 
 
 
 
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