Texas Tech Names David Gibbs New Defensive Coordinator

For several days now, Houston Cougars’ defensive coordinator and interim head coach David Gibbs was narrowed down as the Texas Tech Red Raiders’ main target to fill their vacancy at defensive coordinator. After much speculation, the deal is done.

Gibbs, who is rumored to have turned down a substantial raise at Houston before accepting the job at Tech, is bringing over former Oklahoma graduate assistant Zac Spavital to coach the running backs, as Mike Jinks is promoted to associate head coach.

Jinks has proven to be a valuable asset to the coaching staff, having coached DeAndre Washington into becoming Texas Tech’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Ricky Williams accomplished the feat back in 1998.

“I am extremely excited to have Coach Gibbs and Coach Spavital join our staff,” Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday evening. “What they were able to accomplish in their short time at the University of Houston is incredible. Coach Gibbs developed UH into a Top-20 defense that lead the country in turnovers over a two-year span. With stops in both college football and the NFL, Coach Gibbs will bring experience and ingenuity to our defensive unit.”

Coach Gibbs has a total of 22 years as a coach at some defensive capacity — seven of which were spent at an FBS level. To put his experience in a timeline, he was a defensive assistant for the Denver Broncos from 2001-04; the defensive coordinator at Auburn in 2005; the defensive backs coach for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2009-08; the Houston Texans’ secondaries coach from 2009-12; and the defensive coordinator for the Houston Cougars from 2002-14.

“I couldn’t be more excited about joining Coach Kingsbury and the rest of our coaching staff,” said Gibbs. “I have followed Kliff’s career and believe special things are happening in Lubbock.”

In the beginning of December, Houston fired head coach Tony Levine, and named Gibbs as its interim coach. In their bowl bout with Pittsburgh, Gibbs led Houston to a nail biting 35-34 win. The Cougars trailed 24-6 at the end of the third quarter, then managed to score 29 points in the fourth and mount the largest fourth quarter comeback in FCS bowl history.

With former Tech defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt’s sudden resignation back on Sept. 18 for allegedly being under the influence while on campus, Mike Smith resumed duties on an interim basis for the rest of the season. The defense responded well under Smith, who will continue his duties as co-defensive coordinator for the Red Raiders.

During Gibbs’ time at Auburn, its defense ranked sixth nationally in scoring defense, allowing an average of 15.5 points per game, and ranked 11th in the nation in sacks at 39. In 2013 with Houston, its defense was the third most improved scoring defense in the nation, and in 2014, the Cougars were 8th in the nation in forced turnovers at 30, with 19 of those at the hand of their defensive backs. Additionally, in 2014 the Cougars finished the season ranked No. 19 nationally in total defense.

In Spavital’s time at OU from 2005-2007, the Sooners won two Big 12 championships, and appeared in the 2007 and 2008 Fiesta Bowl against West Virginia and Boise State, respectively.

With the numbers and combined experience between Gibbs and Spavital, Red Raider fans have received the news well. And with its new coaches in tow, it will be interesting to see if Tech can flip any commits as National Signing Day draws closer.

{Information from TexasTech.com’s official press release was used in this article.}

*Section Photo credit to John Weast, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Sharon Ellman, Associated Press

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