Thanks to the late Mike Leach, perhaps no college football program in the nation has become more associated with high-powered offenses than Texas Tech. What's wild, though, is that prior to his arrival in 2000, Red Raider football was all about playing defense and running the ball.
That identity was solidified in the 1980s and 90s by head coach Spike Dykes, himself a former defensive coordinator. During his tenure, he relied heavily on his defense and a stable of running backs that included Byron Hanspard, Byron "Bam" Morris, and Ricky Williams.
Of course, those days are long gone and for nearly 25 years, the Red Raiders have been synonymous with putting the ball in the air and lighting up the scoreboard. That's why the position of Texas Tech offensive coordinator has become one of the most scrutinized jobs in Lubbock.
Prior to Leach's departure after the 2009 season, though, no one really cared who the offensive coordinator was because everyone knew that Leach was masterminding the entire attack. However, when defense-first Tommy Tuberville (one of the worst head coaches in Texas Tech history) was brought in to replace Leach, people around Raiderland began obsessing over the offensive coordinator's performance as Texas Tech fans hoped that the program could hang onto its newfound identity as an offensive juggernaut.
So let's take some time to look back at how the six offensive coordinators since the end of the Leach era stack up with one another. Here's a countdown of the Red Raider offensive coordinators of the past 15 years.
No. 6: Kevin Johns (2018)
Few Red Raider fans remember the name of Kevin Johns but he was Kliff Kingsbury's offensive coordinator in Kingsbury's final season as head coach, 2018. If you are one who doesn't remember him, don't feel bad. His tenure in Lubbock was rather forgettable.
Of course, being the offensive coordinator under Kingsbury was as unimportant as being the coordinator under Leach. Both of those head coaches were hell-bent on running the offense and calling plays (often to the detriment of their defense) and neither gave his coordinator much responsibility or leeway.
However, Johns was brought to Texas Tech for a reason. He was supposed to revitalize the Red Raider run game like he had the Indiana rushing attack. In fact, he was billed as an expert at running the football in the spread offense.
Unfortunately, he wasn't able to make much of a difference. The one year Johns was in Lubbock, Tech ranked 108th nationally in rushing offense by averaging just 132.6 yards per game on the ground.
Tech really needed the run game late in that season when the Red Raiders were down to third-string QB Jett Duffey and he had to play injured to close out the season. Yet, against Kansas State, Tech managed to run for only 26 yards, and in the season finale against Baylor, the offense ran for only 100.
Johns was tasked with getting the Tech ground game unstuck. But that year, the team's leading rusher was Duffey with just 369 yards. What's more, Tech averaged only 3.6 yards per carry.
So what exactly did Johns bring to the table? It feels as if the answer is "Nothing". That's why he checks in as the worst Texas Tech football offensive coordinator of the last 15 years.