Credit Where Credit is Due




Editor-in-chief at hookemreport
Randy Maltz is a die-hard sports fan, with passion for the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Longhorns. He is Founder & Editor of Silver and Blue Report and Hook 'em Report. He still idolizes Roger Staubach and Tom Landry.

Credit Where Credit is Due
Posted by Dmitri Kissov
Barking Carnival – January 7th, 2011

I’ve been openly critical of Mack Brown for the way he’s conducted the coaching search, and I still maintain that most of the criticism was and is warranted.  For example, I still believe Mack was wrong to wait until January to begin contacting candidates.

At the same time, however, fairness compels me to praise Mack for a hiring selection that I simply didn’t think he was capable of making.

The selection of Manny Diaz for DC was nothing short of inspired.

We’ve discussed in this forum how Mack is a “results” guy, and not a “process” guy.  This we’ve attributed in so many words to what Nassim Taleb would describe as confirmation error and retrospective distortion, both of which are convenient substitutes for hard, analytical thinking.

Consequently, what’s most surprising – in an entirely salutary way – is that Diaz represents a “process” hire, not a “results” hire.

I fully expected Mack to select a proven commodity as DC; someone like Charlie Strong would have been, though obviously not him.  In other words, I expected Mack to focus on a candidate’s demonstrated results, irrespective of the defensive strategy that produced them, and more-or-less regardless of whether a candidate might be married to a system that appeared to be a sub-optimal match for modern Div. I offenses.

Manny Diaz is none of that.  Diaz doesn’t come with championship rings and lots of proteges in the NFL; instead, what Diaz brings to the job is youthful energy, a passion for the game and for coaching, and a demonstrated strategic emphasis on playmaking behind the line of scrimmage.

All Manny Diaz had to offer Mack was process.

Since one can’t properly evaluate the quality of a decision by the outcome obtained, it’s appropriate and fair to praise Mack for selecting Diaz even before a single down of football has been played.  Congratulations, Mack.  I don’t know what inspired you to hire Coach Diaz, but whatever it was, try doing it a lot more often and see what results you get.



  1. Good thoughts. But why should Mack have race-horsed this process and had it done before Dec. 24? Where’s the gain?

    You must be aware: The top candidates for our openings were employed by (1) an NFL team, or (2) a college program preparing for a bowl. Contractually — and morally — Mack couldn’t directly contact his top candidates before bowl/NFL season ended. As with his HS hopefuls, they must visit before an offer is made, and if they visit early and a reporter spots the candidate . . .

    This process might not satisfy our “do it now” mentality. It seems to me it’s the right way to do business. Wait a day, a weekend, whatever it takes, to be sure both sides are ready to commit.

  1. “But why should Mack have race-horsed this process and had it done before Dec. 24? Where’s the gain?” — edsp

    There was no gain to be had. Thank god Mack has infinitely more patience than has the vast majority of Texas fans. We’ve lost not a single committed recruit. (By way of comparision, Florida has lost 2 at last count.) We’ve lost not a single coaching candidate because that coach was scooped up by some other team before we could make our pitch to him. There was absolutely no need to expedite the process other than to satisfy the fastfood impatience of some of our more mercurial fans. Mack patiently, methodically, and thorougly worked through a process and now even naysayers like Kissov here are impressed, however grudgingly, with the results.

  1. Brown has always been undersold for his family atmosphere, his ability to make rational decisions (both conservative and aggressive), and his ability to make a cohesive staff. This is his sweet spot. We had our 10 year run for a reason.

    The man can coach. He did a fantastic job deploying resources to keep his recruits and evaluate hundreds of candidates under pressure. He did a great job selling the strengths of the program and holding fast when Chryst was looking around. Contrary to what was here, he nailed the time line, too. Though we were clamoring for early hires, waiting until after bowl season showed that his organization had class and professionalism. You don’t want to show desperation at that point in the process. Class is valuable. It will show up in loyalty and winning percentage.

    I also applaud his decisions to reward loyalty in a profession that generally has none. That’s why he can get position coaches who have been coordinators, and coordinators who have been head coaches.

    Finally, I applaud how he makes recruits, coaches, fans, donors, and alums feel welcome. He represents the university with dignity and class, and so there are people who would take a bullet for him, even after 5-7.

    Some of the fans who are always clamoring for cold blooded killers need to tone it down a little. No, we don’t need to cut scholarships, poach coaches in bowl season, or fire staff with impunity. Yes, family atmosphere and culture matter. There are plenty of good, talented people who want to work for good, talented bosses. Mack has shown that he has been a great boss, more than anything else. I think he still is.

    He is a special coach.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Previous post:

Next post: