Wed, Dec 11, 2019

Considering how disappointing a season it has been at Texas, it should come as no surprise that Tom Herman is making changes to his staff. Perhaps the scope to which he is cleaning house may be a bit of a shock. 

Texas announced Sunday that it has fired both defensive coordinator Todd Orlando passing game coordinator Drew Mehringer. Offensive coordinator Tim Beck has been demoted to a non-coordinator role but will remain on 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.”

Co-defensive coordinator Craig Naivar will take over for Orlando leading the defense on an interim basis. 

While changes were expected, the decision to part ways with Orlando can be seen as a surprise. Orlando arrived at Texas with Herman from Houston. He had been the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach with the Cougars before assuming the same duties with the Longhorns.

His defense allowed only 392.8 yards and 25.9 points per game in 2018, but those numbers ballooned to 446.3 yards and 28.9 points per game in 2019. In conference play, things were even worse as the Longhorns allowed 455.9 yards and 30.6 points per game. Only Texas Tech and Kansas gave up more points in Big 12 play. Of course, some regression should have been expected. The 2018 defense that put up those numbers and helped Texas win 10 games last season lost eight starters. Plus, many key players were dealing with injuries this season, exacerbating the problem.

Texas’ offense improved in both points per game (31.1 to 35.0) and yards per play (5.51 to 6.28), but that wasn’t enough for Beck to keep his position. Beck came to Texas when Herman took over from Ohio State. He had been the offensive coordinator with the Buckeyes, and ironically enough, replaced Herman when he left to take over the Houston job. Mehringer came to Texas in 2017 from Rutgers and had been leading the passing game while coaching wide receivers.

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