Tuberville is facing some difficult hiring decisions over the coming weeks. Barring anyone leaving he has two vacancies to fill, but there are three things on this team that need lots of attention.
1) The scheme of the defense. Tubs came into the job with the notion that Tech needed to change to a 3-4 because there were so many spread offenses in the Big 12. (If you decide to read the linked article, please ignore the Tubs quote about keeping the Air-Raid. (snicker, snicker)
On defense, Tuberville wants to turn the Red Raiders into a 3-4 team. He coached 4-3 defenses most of his career but decided seven or eight years ago that he needed to evolve to defend spread passing games.
With this years defense regressing big time and his common complaint that Tech is not fast enough to play, is he willing to wait four more years until the pipeline is full of players who can run and perform in the 3-4? If that is the case, will he bring in an experienced and proven DC who can coach these guys beyond what they can think or imagine to help shorten the learning curve?
2) The DB's. Yes, I know that they were young and that they were baptized by fire. Certainly they were put in a difficult situation. But here is what puzzles me. My general impression is that as the season went on, this unit did not improve very much and an argument could be made that some of the DB's looked like they regressed. That's on their position coach. Will Tubs hire an experienced coach knows how rebuild their confidence and coach them up?
3) Special Teams. This year the Special Teams were ummm .... special. Tubs took the reins because he had to (more on that in a bit) and his teams contributed to allowing Tech's opponents to score at least 45 points.
Three immediate needs, but he can only hire two guys. The NCAA mandates that teams can only have up to nine assistants. Tech has five assistants on offense: OC/QB, RB, OL, IR, and WR. Defense had four: DC/LB; DL, DE/OLB, and DB. So the ST responsibilities fell to Tubs.
In years past while Ruffin was the DL coach he also coached special teams. Then when he became DC, the special teams tag went to RB coach McGuire. Someone left the staff and Leach decided to reshuffle some responsibilities to hire ST coach Eric Russell. One advantage Leach had was he doubled as the HC and OC/QB coach. In situations like this having one less assistant allows HC the flexibility to hire a ST coach. Unless Tubs becomes the DC, he will not have that same advantage.
This kind of puts Tubs into a pinch. Is there anyone on staff more competent than Tubs when it comes to special teams? If not, does he see it as a high enough priority to hire a ST coach and shuffle the responsibilities of the staff OR is he willing to bone up by hanging out with Frank Beamer (see below) for a while?
Don't know the answers to any of these questions. But what I do know is that his decision will tell us his priorities and what he values.
BTW: If he decides to remain as the Special Teams coach, he needs to wipe that smirk off his face, stop playing off his bad decisions with his wise a** comments and catch a plane to Blacksburg, VA. He needs to watch film with Frank Beamer and pick his brain until he has nothing left. Beamer is the HC at VT and the special teams coach and his special teams units are widely recognized as being one of the best in the nation year in, year out.