A significant overhaul of staff occurred yesterday for the Texas Longhorns football program ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg reports. Several staff members were fired or demoted, in what looks to be a complete change of direction for the coaching staff. Of those released was Todd Orlando, The Longhorns defensive Coordinator. Orlando was defensive Coordinator for the past three seasons and served under Head coach Tom Herman while in Houston as well.
Herman made a statement in regards to the major changes.
“These were very difficult decisions and certainly not an indictment of them as coaches,” Herman said in a prepared statement. “I just believe we need a fresh set of eyes and infusion of new ideas and energy to help us grow across the board.”
This is in response to the Longhorns 7-5 record during the 2019 season. Much to the dismay of the coaching staff.
“After taking time, looking back and evaluating the season in its totality, I am very disappointed in our performance in a number of areas in 2019,” Herman said. “7-5 will never be our standard at Texas and I take full responsibility for any and all of our shortcomings and know we need to do a better job coaching across the board. With that said, I do believe the future is very bright, have decided to make some changes to our staff as we head into bowl preparation and look to finish strong in the final weeks of fall recruiting.”
For now, the Longhorns will have Craig Naviar as an interim head defensive coordinator. Naviar served as Co-defensive Coordinator for the Longhorns.
According to CBSsports, under Orlando’s lead, the defense for the Longhorns allowed 446.3 yards and 28.9 points per game in 2019. This is in comparison to 2018 where they only allowed 392.8 yards and 25.9 points per game. These numbers jumped even higher in conference play in 2019, Where Texas allowed 455.9 yards and 30.6 points per game according to CBS sports. These numbers are only ahead of Texas Tech and Kansas in the big 12 this season.
Sports Illustrated reported that The longhorns started off strong with a 4-1 record. However, their defense suffered throughout the season as the team struggled often to close out games. Texas even almost had an upset in a 50-48 win against Kansas. The defense did get better throughout the season where their offense started off strong yet depleted as the year went on. These are all determining factors as to why their record is where it is now. As the Longhorns begin to prepare for bowl and tournament games, their new staffing will play a significant role in where they end this season.
The Longhorns finished 10-4 in 2018 and are hoping to finish the season strong after dropping three of their last 5 games giving them the 7-5 record they have now.
This all leads to the sudden and surprising firing of Todd Orlando. As of right now, ESPN reports that the Longhorns are considering Rutger’s coach Chris Ash to replace Orlando. The Longhorns are actively searching for replacements as the days continue.