Oklahoma mailbag: Does Bob Diaco’s hiring create defensive distractions?
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James Hall asks, is Bob Diaco actually going to help the defense with his expertise or be more of a distraction?
That’s a good question because this is a first for Oklahoma’s coaching staff. The program has employed analysts before, but never one with Bob Diaco’s résumé.
The way it would be a distraction is if Diaco was hired to serve as a mole in the defensive meeting room or to undermine defensive coordinator Mike Stoops.
That isn’t the case. Stoops and Diaco have a relationship that goes back three decades. Defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks and Diaco were teammates at Iowa.
“He’s been a really neat guy to be around, he’s coached defense a long time,” Stoops said. “I knew at Notre Dame, they were a little different, but we’re similar in a lot of ways. He brings a new perspective. He brings a big-picture perspective, and that’s, we need that. The more guys that can see things and have eyes with that kind of experience, I think that helps you. Obviously, for me, just talking. You’re doing so much. He’s going to be a valuable asset like all our other guys are.”
Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley also followed former coach Bob Stoops in doing everything he can to create staff chemistry. The group gets along well. I don’t think he would do anything to weaken that.
It’s also safe to assume Diaco’s tenure at Oklahoma will be short. One of the reasons Riley was able to hire him is because Diaco was let go at Nebraska with one year remaining on his contract. He’s still being paid by the Huskers. That will change by the 2019 season.
Diaco is a respected coach in the profession. He won the Frank Broyles Award in 2012 and spent four seasons as Connecticut’s coach. At a minimum, he’ll be a candidate for high-profile defensive coordinator jobs following the 2018 season.
This should help the Sooners this season. It never hurts to get another pair of well-respected and well-trained eyes on that defense.