Tag:Bryan Harsin
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.

Posted on: January 7, 2011 7:53 pm
 

Harsin, Applewhite named UT co-coordinators

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

After several hours of reports corroborating each other, it's all but official : Bryan Harsin of Boise State and current Texas running backs coach Major Applewhite will be co-offensive coordinators next season at Texas.

Though there's nothing out of the official Longhorn camp just yet, Harsin appears to have spent at least 24 hours in Austin visiting and deliberating his offer to replace Greg Davis as -- we believe -- the Longhorns' primary play-caller. Apparently, he's accepted, giving Mack Brown and Co. one of the nation's hottest young offensive minds; at 34 years old and the Broncos' offensive coordinator since 2006, Harsin has already guided Boise to five finishes in the national top 20 for total offense.

As for Applewhite, while it's not entirely clear what his role will be, his promotion ensures that one of the few Longhorn offensive staff members who escaped the team's 2010 implosion with their reputations intact -- witness the rumors Will Muschamp would be taking Applewhite with him to direct the offense at Florida -- will remain in Austin and provide a sense of continuity as Harsin takes over.

As for what the Longhorn offense will look like under the Harsin-Applewhite tag team, if there's anything certain, it's that it'll feature a greater emphasis on the running game after Brown said his offseason focus (for what feels like the 10th straight year) would be on finding someone to instill more toughness (and, you know, success) in the Longhorn ground attack. But as for specifics, if it winds up looking like Harsin's Boise offense, the best place to start is this post at the ever-brilliant Smart Football , which breaks down the Bronco philosophy as one that doesn't stick to a singular scheme, formation, or approach; it simply finds plays that work, whether out of a pro set or spread, and executes them. Or as a Bronco assistant put it: "We run plays, we don’t have an offense."

Ironically, many a Longhorn fan disappointed with Davis's grab-bag of an offense have leveled that same boast as a criticism of the previous offensive regime. But if Harsin can produce an offense in Austin remotely as productive as the one he oversaw in Boise -- if he can turn that lack of identity into the strength of unpredictability rather than the weakness of confusion -- no one in burnt orange will be complaining.

 
 
 
 
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