Todd Orlando is headed to Texas to rejoin Tom Herman. The Houston DC will assume the same role in Austin.
Tom Herman will have some familiar company for his first season as new Texas head coach.
As expected, Houston defensive coordinator Todd Orlando will join his former boss with the Longhorns once the Cougars complete their Las Vegas Bowl game against San Diego State on Saturday, according to Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel.
Orlando was Herman’s DC for two seasons at Houston, and he became an even hotter commodity after the Cougars’ defensive performances this year in games against Oklahoma and Louisville following last season’s victories over Louisville and Florida State. In the Peach Bowl win over the Seminoles, star running back Dalvin Cook rushed for just 33 yards on 18 carries.
Orlando reportedly will get a three-year deal worth more than one million per season.
In addition to Orlando, expect Cougars safeties coach Craig Naivar and strength coach Yancy McKnight to join the staff in Austin. Both of those moves were expected as well. Herman still has openings at offensive coordinator and running backs coach.
Bringing in Orlando was crucial because Herman is an offensive-minded coach in addition to Orlando simply being one of the best at his craft. The Cougars finished No. 3 in rush defense in 2016 one season after the defensive unit led the nation in forced turnovers. They also finished No. 14 in total defense and 13th in sacks this season.
Orlando leaving for Austin seemed to be almost a given after he was passed over for the head gig at Houston. He was initially named interim head coach after Herman left, but the school chose offensive coordinator Major Applewhite for the permanent head gig last week.
Expect the Texas defense to look vastly different than the one that struggled in 2016. Then-head coach Charlie Strong demoted DC Vance Bedford after the team allowed 38.3 points per game through its first four contests, and the Longhorns ended up finishing the 2016 season ranked No. 95 in total defense and No. 89 in scoring defense. However, Orlando will be inheriting a unit littered with talented underclassmen. Expect the ‘D’ to be aggressive and multiple in its looks in 2017, with a premium put on pressuring the quarterback and creating turnovers.