Texas coach Mack Brown goes 'all in' with new coordinators Manny Diaz, Bryan Harsin

RED RIVER EXTRA — After his staff was accused of becoming stale and complacent, Texas football coach Mack Brown went ‘all in' to hire offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin and defensive coordinator Manny Diaz.
BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Modified: October 6, 2011 at 7:38 pm •  Published: October 6, 2011
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After years of surrounding himself with veteran coaches, Texas coach Mack Brown this past off-season hired two young coordinators.

The poker term is “All In,” a player risking their tournament life.

Brown went all in by hiring five new assistants, including two innovative coordinators.

Offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin, 34, called plays at Boise State for five years and has brought the Broncos' diverse, multiple set philosophy to Austin.

Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, 36, is a former ESPN production assistant, diametrical to the good ole boys Brown has relied on much of his career.

Brown's staff was accused of becoming stale, complacent. He had five assistants that had 31 or more years of experience. His two new coordinators aren't far removed from their 31st birthdays.

Harsin's offense sometimes is mislabeled as gimmicky. That's what some OU fans remember most from the Broncos' upset of Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, specifically the game-winning Statue of Liberty two-point conversion.

But the Boise State blue print is built around multiple formations, a smash-mouth running game and play-action, vertical throws that spread the field.

“They're a lot different than last year,” said OU safety Aaron Colvin. “They have different formations. You have to slow your mind down or they'll take advantage. You just need to dial in on your assignments.”

But Harsin certainly isn't vanilla. Far from it. His offense relies on misdirection and counter sweeps. And he'll toss in an occasional gadget play.

Earlier this season the Longhorns ran a play called “The Matrix.” A running back lined up at quarterback. The quarterback lined up as a wide receiver.

As the play unfolded the running back handed it off to the wide receiver on a reverse, who flipped the ball to the quarterback, who tossed a touchdown pass.

“They do a good job moving their people around,” said OU coach Bob Stoops. “They do a good job making people work. At the end of the day you need to keep leverage on them and defend them.”

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