Texas Tech football: Former DC David Gibbs lands at Missouri

LUBBOCK, TX - SEPTEMBER 17: Texas Tech Red Raiders defensive coordinator David Gibbs reacts to play on the field during the game Louisiana Tech Bulldogs on September 17, 2016 at AT
LUBBOCK, TX - SEPTEMBER 17: Texas Tech Red Raiders defensive coordinator David Gibbs reacts to play on the field during the game Louisiana Tech Bulldogs on September 17, 2016 at AT /

Former Texas Tech football defensive coordinator David Gibbs has landed a job on the defensive staff at Missouri.

David Gibbs’ tenure as the Texas Tech football team’s defensive coordinator never lived up to what all involved hoped it would.  After four years in Lubbock, none of his defenses ever finished the season ranked in the top 100 nationally in total defense.  But still, the now former Red Raider defensive coordinator has landed a job at another Power 5 school.

Thursday, Gibbs was hired as defensive backs coach at Missouri despite earlier rumors that he would be returning to Houston where he was DC for two years prior to his time at Texas Tech.  But now he will be plying his craft in the SEC where he will face vastly different offenses.

What makes this hire interesting is that Gibbs, who has been a long-time defensive backs coach in the NFL and college ranks struggled to produce a good secondary in Lubbock.  Last year, his defense was the second-worst in the nation against the pass giving up over 288 yards per game.

Last season, under DC Ryan Walters, the Tigers finished the season at No. 62 overall in the nation defensively.  It was the third-straight season that the Mizzou defense struggled after finishing No. 83 in 2017 and No. 118 the season prior.  But in 2015, the Tigers had the No. 6 defense in the nation.

As for Gibbs, none of his Texas Tech defenses ever outperformed Missouri’s in his four years at Tech.  This year, Tech ranked No. 108 after ranking No. 105 last year.  The previous two years were disastrous for the Red Raiders ranking No. 128 (last overall) in the nation in 2016 and No. 127 (second-to-last) in 2015.

What ultimately failed Gibbs was that his defenses’ calling-card did not follow him from Houston to Lubbock as he was never able to create takeaways in the same numbers that he did for the Cougars.  In the last four years, Tech averaged 21.2 turnovers forced per year, down from the ridiculous 36.5 per year Gibbs forced at Houston.  And when his team’s failed to take the ball away from opposing teams, Gibbs could not figure out a way to get his defense off the field.

The defensive coordinator position has been a nightmare at Texas Tech since the end of the Mike Leach era.  From 2009 to 2015, the Red Raiders had seven different defensive coordinators in seven years.

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To his credit, Gibbs was able to bring stability to that position.  What’s more, he brought an infusion of talent on his side of the ball which was desperately needed.

He helped bring players like Dakota Allen, Jordyn Brooks, Broderick Washington, Adrian Frye, Riko Jeffers and Joseph Wallace to Lubbock as Tech was able to finally field defenses with legitimate Big 12 talent at every position.  But he ultimately could not turn that talent into the type of results that had been expected by the fans upon his arrival.

Prior to last season, Gibbs signed a two-year extension through the 2019 season.  He was reportedly being targeted by Arizona State and their new head coach Herm Edwards and he parlayed that into a $100,000 per year raise.

But in the end, he was nothing but another empty head set who was unable to bring a representative defense to Lubbock.  He proved to be less than adequate on the recruiting trail and his policy of refusing to offer recruits a scholarship before seeing them play or workout in person proved to be a bad idea as Tech missed out on a number of targets that Gibbs and his staff slow-played.

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Ultimately, he will be remembered as the best defensive coordinator of the Kliff Kingsbury era but that is akin to being the world’s fastest turtle.  He spent the entire 2018 offseason proclaiming on social media that “things have changed” but during his four years in Lubbock, not much changed except for the annual tradition of conducting a search for a new defensive coordinator.