Update: The deal is complete. Don Williams of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports Gibbs inked a two-year contract worth $550,000 annually. Texas Tech has also announced that interim DC Mike Smith will remain on as co-defensive coordinator, and running backs coach Mike Smith has been promoted to associate head coach.
Texas Tech is attempting to finalize an agreement with Houston defensive coordinator David Gibbs and Cougars defensive backs coach/recruiting coordinator Zac Spavital, FootballScoop has learned. Interim defensive coordinator Mike Smith would move to defensive line to accommodate for Gibbs.
Per source, incoming head coach Tom Herman offered Gibbs a spot on his staff as a co-defensive coordinator but with no play-calling responsibilities.
Gibbs recently completed his second season as Houston’s defensive coordinator. The Cougars were among the nation’s best defenses at forcing turnovers under Gibbs’ direction, leading FBS in 2013 with 43 takeaways – the most by any team since 2011 – and ranking 10th this fall with 30.
Texas Tech forced a total of 34 takeaways the past two seasons. The Red Raiders have ranked 119th and 123rd the past two seasons in turnover margin, so fixing that area would go a long way toward turning around the team’s overall record.
Gibbs served as the interim head coach for Houston’s come-from-behind win over Pittsburgh in the Armed Forces Bowl. He has also coached with the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs, as well as Auburn, Minnesota, Kansas, Colorado and Oklahoma. Gibbs spent the 2012 season as the defensive backs coach for the UFL’s Virginia Destroyers before returning to college football.
Spavital served as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma from 2005-07, then joined Kevin Sumlin’s original staff at Houston as defensive backs coach in 2008. He has remained in that position until this pending move to Lubbock to rejoin Kliff Kingsbury in Lubbock.