Texas Longhorns Football: Arizona DB Coach Duane Akina Returning to Texas
In perhaps the most bizarre turn of what has been a strange off-season coaching search for Mack Brown and his staff, a former Longhorn coach has left only to return a short time later.
According to multiple sources this morning, including the Austin American-Statesman, ESPN and Arizona AD Greg Byrne, former Texas defensive backs coach Duane Akina is returning to Austin after a short tenure with Arizona.
Akina will fill the defensive backs coaching position which was briefly filled by former Longhorn All-American Jerry Gray, prior to his departure to join the Tennessee Titans and new head coach Mike Munchak.
Short-term speculation about Gray’s replacement included talks about USC defensive backs coach Willie Mack Garza, Tulsa defensive backs coach Van Malone and Mississippi State defensive backs coach, Melvin Smith.
Akina was reportedly upset with the position he would fill at Arizona, after being promised the defensive backs position with Mike Stoops’ staff.
Miscommunication regarding his duties apparently occurred during the interview process, leading Akina to seek out Mack Brown to begin talks about his return.
According to Arizona AD Byrne, there were also undisclosed family considerations which led to Akina’s decision to return to Texas.
Whatever factors played into Akina’s decision it is a truly strange turn of events in what has been a twilight zone of weirdness for the Longhorn football program over the past 10 months.
Mack Brown can only hope now that the coaching staff saga has finally ended and everyone can turn their attention to the most important spring sport in the eyes of most Texans, spring football.
Any other instability in the coaching ranks may be more than the fragile state of Texas Longhorns football can handle.