Yesterday, Double-T 104.3's Chris Level mentioned in his daily Tech Talk segment (this is a great daily listen for me) that the there have been three names mentioned with Texas Tech's vacancy for defensive coordinator: Kansas' Clint Bowen, Houston's David Gibbs and Memphis' Barry Odom.
Level affirmed that with Bowen taking the Kansas defensive coordinator position and associate head coach position for Kansas that this has eliminated him, but apparently Kingsbury is swinging for the fences with the other two candidates.
Gibbs was fantastic this past year and was given a two-year extension in January of 2014 and received a "significant raise" over and above his $300,000 that he earned in 2013. From Gibbs' bio he's very much helped turn around the Cougars on defense:
David Gibbs enters his second season as Houston's defensive coordinator. The 21-year coaching veteran has six years of experience as a defensive coordinator on the NCAA FBS level and nine years of NFL coaching experience. Gibbs has been part of a coaching staff that has played in a bowl game in eight of his 12 years on the collegiate level.
Under Gibbs' leadership, the Houston defense was the third-most improved scoring defense nationally and ranked 20th nationally in allowing 21.8 points per game after allowing 36 points a game in 2012.
The 2013 Houston defense led the nation with 43 turnovers forced to help lead the Cougars to a nation's best +25 turnover margin. Trevon Stewart led the nation and set a UH record with six fumble recoveries while Adrian McDonald led The American Athletic Conference with six interceptions.
Gibbs is currently acting as the interim head coach as Houston fired head coach Tony Levine earlier this week. I suppose securing Gibbs as the DC would be largely dependent on whether or not he is retained at Houston as the head coach, which I am sure he'd like to see.
The second candidate is Odom, who has also helped turn around a Memphis program that was floundering just a few years ago. Odom is very much a wanted man and is being courted by a handful of other programs who are also searching for defensive coordinators, including Auburn and South Carolina and a handful of other opportunities. From Odom's Memphis bio:
In Odom's first season as the Tigers' defensive coordinator, Memphis led the league in total defense in conference games played in 2012, giving up just 331.6 yards per game. Memphis lowered its total yardage allowed in conference games from the previous season by 30 percent.
The improvement continued in Year Two as the Tigers ranked No. 39 in total defense (370.7 ypg allowed) and No. 12 against the run (116.3 ypg allowed).
In 2012, Memphis ranked 50th nationally in defense (383.58 yards per game). The Tigers made a 67-position improvement from the 2011 season when they ranked 117th with a 491.00 total defense average. Memphis' 138-yard rushing defense total for the year ranked 32nd nationally.
Memphis ranked last nationally in pass defense for the 2011 season but in Odom's first season the Tigers made a 42-spot improvement, allowing 245.58 yards passing in 2012.
Obviously, Mike Smith may also a candidate, but Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury appears to be looking at candidates who are established defensive coordinators who have proven themselves for a few years. I know that everyone loves Smith, and I do to, but I've also got no problem with Kingsbury trying to find the best possible candidate for the defensive coordinator position.