UPDATE: OU Insider, 247Sports Oklahoma site, is reporting that Ruffin McNeill, who is also currently on the Sooner’s staff, will be named interim coordinator. So, at the very least we have conflicting reports from two credible sources. Time will tell, but you should expect that it will definitely be one or the other.
— Brandon Drumm (@BrandonDrumm247) October 8, 2018
McNeill was brought onto the Sooner’s staff as assistant head coach and defensive tackles coach before last season. The defensive-minded coach has a long resume behind him. In 2000, he was brought on at Texas Tech as the Red Raider’s linebackers coach. He worked his way up the coaching ladder, and in 2009 he took over as interim head coach for the Red Raider’s bowl game after Mike Leach was suspended. In 2010, he took over at East Carolina, but was let go after going 5-7 in 2015. He went on to become an assistant head coach and defensive line coach at Virginia for the 2016 season, before being hired at Oklahoma.
News broke on Sunday night that Mike Stoops is out at the University of Oklahoma. You never want to see a guy lose his job, but it’s a move that most Sooner fans won’t complain about. With Stoops no longer employed though, the Sooners are in need of a defensive coordinator. Ruffin McNeil and Bob Diaco are being thrown around, and according to OU Daily, it looks like it will be the later.
Diaco joined the Sooner’s staff this off-season as a defensive analyst, and that’s likely not a coincidence. The grumblings over Mike Stoops have not been subtle, and Lincoln Riley has known that a change may need to be made. Though, he probably didn’t expect the calls to be so strong midway through the season.
Diaco has been coaching since 1996 when he was hired as a graduate assistant at Iowa. In 2009, he was hired as defensive coordinator under Brian Kelly at Cincinnati. Diaco later followed Kelly to Notre Dame, where he was defensive coordinator for the Fighting Irish until he was named the head coach at Connecticut at the end of the 2013 season. The Irish were second in points allowed per game in 2012 under Diaco’s leadership. Unfortunately, Diaco was let go at UConn after a disappointing 2016 season.
In 2017, Mike Riley hired Diaco to be Nebraska’s defensive coordinator, but was subsequently fired at the end of the season when Nebraska fired Riley and the rest of the coaching staff. For what it’s worth, the Huskers ranked 100th in total defense last season, although he was coaching up a bunch of players he inherited, and didn’t have an opportunity to recruit his own talent. It’s fair to say, the talent at Oklahoma is a bit better.
This is an unconfirmed report, but that isn’t stopping anyone from reacting on social media…
Oh great! Bob Diaco is the Interim DC?! Nebraska's DC last year that proudly lead the Husker's defense to dead last in the Big Ten last year?!?! SMH!
— Kyler Brewer (@KylerBrewer3) October 8, 2018
#BobDiaco. Yup, worked out great at Nebraska
— William Poling (@william_poling) October 8, 2018
Lol Bob Diaco strikes again
— Salt Creek and Stadium (@SaltCreekGBR) October 8, 2018
Wow. Bob Diaco? Did Lincoln not watch any of Nebraska last season? Not a step up.
— Jimmy (@WistfulPatriot) October 8, 2018
Hope you don't get Bob Diaco like the report I saw said he's much worse
— BShirtSzn (@bshirtszn) October 8, 2018