NORMAN, Okla. — Bob Diaco is headed to Louisiana Tech to become their defensive coordinator. Bleed Tech Blue first reported the news Thursday.
Diaco spent this past season first as a defensive specialist and then as outside linebackers coach for the Sooners when Mike Stoops was fired following the Red River Showdown in October. He moved to that on-field position when Ruffin McNeill, now the outside linebackers coach, took over as coordinator in the interim.
Before that, Diaco spent time as head coach of the UConn Huskies from 2014-16. He also served stints as defensive coordinator for Cincinnati (2009), Notre Dame (2010-13) and Nebraska (2017).
Head coach Lincoln Riley has hired three new defensive coaches, including coordinator Alex Grinch, inside linebackers coach Brian Odom and cornerbacks coach Roy Manning. They fill the vacancies of Stoops, Diaco and former defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks, off to Texas Tech.
“Yeah, in terms of coaches, I mean, I know I guess your mind wanders or you think about some of the guys that you want to work with,” Grinch said last weekend during his introductory press conference. “When you have elite people that you’ve worked with, elite coaches that you’ve worked with, what you don’t want to do is venture too far out from that. It’s the known. It’s knowing that you’ve been in the meeting on a Sunday after a poor performance, and you know those guys aren’t the excuse makers. You know, they’re in it for the team, for not only the defense, for the team. They understand, again, day one install. They understand what a Monday game plan looks like and all those things that just are exciting to have in the program.
“So you know what you’re getting. And so often in this business there’s a lot of good coaches out there, but until you work with a guy you don’t know what you don’t know type of stuff. So, no, they were, again, [easy to pick] if you draft them, which you don’t get to do. And obviously they had to be a good fit for this program, so thrilled to have both of those guys.”
(Follow all things Sooners — take five seconds to sign up for our FREE Sooners newsletter now!)
Riley said his on-field staff is now set with those additions. No other changes are expected in that regard at the current time.
“We still have some off-the-field positions, G.A. positions, all that, that we’re in the process of,” Riley said. “Not ready to make announcements on that yet, but the full-time on field staff is set, yes.”
The new staff and the rest of the Sooners convene for spring football in more than a month. The annual Red-White Spring Game, which will be OU fans’ first chance to check them out live in action, is set for April 13.