Diaz shakes staff up, hires Travaris Robinson as defensive backs coach

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Change has come to Manny Diaz’s coaching staff, just days into 2021 and the offseason.

Travaris Robinson will be the newest member of UM’s staff, joining the program as defensive backs coach.

He arrives in Coral Gables after a five-year stint at the University of South Carolina, serving in the same capacity as well as holding defensive coordinator duties.

“We are excited to welcome Travaris and his family back to Miami,” Diaz said in a statement. “He is a proven defensive coach and an excellent recruiter who will be an outstanding addition to our coaching staff.”

Known as “T-Rob,” among fans, players and fellow coaches, Robinson will immediately be a face of the program on the recruiting trail, where he has excelled throughout his career. A Miami native and Coral Park High School graduate, he’ll look to use his local ties to bring the next generation of players to UM.

Robinson replaces two former assistant coaches. Former safeties coach Ephraim Banda stepped down after the 2020 season to become defensive coordinator at Utah State, while cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph was reportedly not retained per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald after Miami’s loss in the Cheez-It Bowl to Oklahoma State. Rumph—a standout player on the 2001 national championship team—was well-regarded as a player developer during his five years with the Canes, but struggled in recruiting. UM had just five scholarship corners available for most 2020, having lost out on multiple local, blue-chip cornerback prospects on Rumph’s watch.

Robinson followed a college career at Auburn and a two-year run in the National Football League with stints at Western Kentucky, Southern Mississippi and Texas Tech before joining Will Muschamp’s staff at Florida in 2011.

He helped lead defenses at Florida were consistently ranked in the top ten in pass and total defense nationally. Robinson also developed future NFL cornerbacks Quincy Wilson, Jalen Tabor and Vernon Hargreaves III.

At South Carolina under once again under Muschamp, Robinson led an aggressive defense that ranked ninth nationally in turnovers forced with 28 while molding All-SEC honorees DL Kingsley Enagbare, DB Jaycee Horn, DT Javon Kinlaw and CB Israel Mukuamu.

He’ll look to help guide Miami’s defense in 2021 that’ll both lose and return key contributors from the 2020 campaign. Star defensive ends Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche have departed for the NFL Draft, but Robinson’s secondary won’t be void of experience. Starters CB Al Blades Jr., CB DJ Ivey, CB Te’Cory Couch, S Bubba Bolden and S Gurvan Hall are all set to return, with senior S Amari Carter still undeclared on whether or not he’ll take advantage of NCAA pandemic eligibility relief and return for an additional season.

Robinson is the first hire of the offseason for Diaz, who has made staff changes in each of his offseasons at the program’s helm. The Hurricanes have not announced any other changes, but the Associated Press’ Tim Reynolds tweeted Saturday that “more moves” may be coming this week.