After leaving the program in the spring of last year, Jabbar Juluke has rejoined Kliff Kingsbury's coaching staff as the team's running backs coach and associate head coach. Juluke fills the running back coach vacancy left by DeShaun Foster. Foster left for his alma mater UCLA.
Juluke, who was hired in January 2016 as Tech's running backs coach, helped complete their 2016 signing class. However, a few weeks after signing day, he left Texas Tech to take the running backs coach job at LSU. There he coached one of the best running backs in the country in Leonard Fournette and his backup Derrius Guice, who rushed for over 1,000 yards while Fournette battled injuries throughout the season.
Before he came to Tech initially in 2016, Juluke was the running backs coach at Louisiana Tech. There he helped lead the Bulldogs to two straight 9-win seasons in 2014 and 2015. Both seasons ended in bowl victories. He also coached a great running back in Kenneth Dixon, who is now playing in the NFL for the Baltimore Ravens. During his career at LA Tech, Dixon became the school's all-time leader in rushing yards and touchdowns. He also became the NCAA's all-time leader in career total touchdowns, points scored and games played with a touchdown for running backs.
Texas Tech has a solid stable of running backs in Da'Leon Ward, Justin Stockton and Demarcus Felton. It will be interesting to see how Juluke fits in on Kingsbury's staff based on this program's offensive philosophy with the Air Raid offense. Tech's running game struggled last year as the team finished with 1,243 yards total for the season and the leading rusher only had 428 yards.
More important, the running game struggled to move the chains on critical drives, forcing Tech to rely almost completely on their passing game and Patrick Mahomes' playmaking ability. With a new quarterback in Nic Shimonek, who is more of a pocket passer, Tech will need to rely on their running game more to move the ball downfield. I think Juluke is a coach who can help them do that. I also believe he is a great pipeline for recruiting in the Louisiana area.
While it was tough seeing Juluke spurn Texas Tech for LSU in January of last year, I am glad he has decided to return to Lubbock! Welcome back coach Jabbar Juluke!