Nothing is for certain, but rumors are circulating about the fate of Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis.
The Texas Rivals website, Orangebloods.com, first reported last Thursday that head coach Mack Brown had fired Davis, but nothing official has been released from the athletic department since then.
Brown, who began his post-season evaluation of the disastrous 5-7 season last Monday, plans to take his time making serious decisions that will affect the future of the football program. Not to mention replacing Davis would be one of the hardest decisions of Brown’s career, as the two are close friends and have coached together for 16 years dating back to their days at Tulane and North Carolina.
But something is definitely going down — Greg Davis was even a nationally trending topic on Twitter for a few hours last week when the rumors first broke.
Sunday, the Austin American-Statesman reported that Davis told writer Kevin Robbins that he had not resigned, despite tips that a decision would be made by that afternoon. Davis said he and Brown will continue to evaluate the situation at hand on Wednesday after Brown returns from New York City, where he is attending the annual National Football Foundation scholar-athlete banquet and functions associated with the college football hall of fame.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Davis were fired. Though he molded Vince Young and Colt McCoy into some of college football’s all-time greats, rewrote the record books while helping Texas to a national championship in 2005 (the offense averaged 50.2 points per game that year) and coached in a second title game in ’09, he is considered the bad guy when Texas isn’t playing well.
From 2000-04, Texas lost five straight to Oklahoma and averaged less than 11 points per game in those contests. Much of the blame was put on Davis’ shoulders. A firing was also reported in 2003, but nothing ever came of it.
This season Davis was criticized for trying something new. With first-year starter Garrett Gilbert, who is not considered a dual-threat quarterback like Young or McCoy, Davis deviated from the successful spread offense and tried out pro-style with a balanced offensive attack.
That design didn’t quite fit the talent. Texas never was very balanced and finished the year as the 59th-ranked offense in the league. The group failed to score touchdowns and now Texas is home for the holidays instead of preparing for the post-season. It’s the first time the program has not made a bowl since 1997.
Texas expected a smooth transition from McCoy to Gilbert, but that did not happen as Gilbert threw 17 interceptions (two shy of the school record) and just nine touchdown passes.
The Monday before the Texas A&M game, Davis wasn’t worried about the state of his job.
“I’ve never felt like I was coaching for my job,” Davis said. “I got into this because I love the game and I can’t imagine doing anything else. When the alarm went off at this this morning, I jumped up excited to come to work.”
But changes must be made. A 5-7 record is atrocious and something the Texas football program cannot swallow.
If Davis were fired, it would cause a domino effect in the offensive staff. It’s unlikely Brown would hire a new offensive coordinator and keep the rest of his old staff, so if Davis goes, what does that mean for running backs coach Major Applewhite and tight ends coach Bruce Chambers? Chambers is one of the program’s best recruiters.
If Brown wants to keep the offensive duties inside the Texas family, maybe Applewhite will be promoted to coordinator. There’s also talk that defensive tackles coach/special teams coordinator Mike Tolleson and offensive line coach Mac McWhorter are going to retire and that receivers coach Bobby Kennedy is searching for a job out west.
There are a lot of variables in this equation, which is why Brown is taking his time re-evaluating. Don’t count on anything official being released until later this week — maybe after the team’s annual banquet on Friday night.