Throughout the summer, we will be taking a look inside the state of the Texas Tech football program. We will analyze each position as a whole and look at the past, present, and future. This week, we close our series by talking about the guys that make the big (and only) bucks, the coaches.
We all love the legend of Mike Leach, and hate the disappointment of Tommy Tuberville, but as much as fans want Kliff to be like Leach, his record has shown to be more like Tuberville.
Both Tubs & Kliff had 8 wins in their first year, missed a bowl the second year, and 7 wins the third year. At the end of the day, Kliff is more liked throughout the fan base because he is a Red Raider at heart and seems to be a decent human being unlike his predecessor, but when it comes to wins and losses, numbers don’t lie.
Last season was arguably the most frustrating of them all, because of the close losses. There were 5 one-possession games for the Red Raiders last season, and Tech went 1-4 in such games. If that record was flipped to 4-1 in those games instead, Kliff is not on the hot seat this season.
Kliff has pledged to spend more time in defensive meetings this season, hoping the added attention will help the group that ranked worst in all of FBS last season. As much as Kliff is on the hot seat, defensive coordinator David Gibbs must be feeling it that much more. Gibbs is now in his third season and no longer has the “inexperienced players” excuse. This season is do or die for Gibbs and his defense, without improvement he could be on his way out regardless of the team’s record.
Three new faces were added to the coaching staff in the off-season with dreams of boosting units that were lackluster last season. Terrance Jamison will be leading the D line after leaving the top pass rushing team in Conference USA in Florida Atlantic. Brandon Jones will bring his Air Raid coaching pedigree back to his alma mater after spending time with Sonny Dykes at Cal. Jones will hope to bring this knowledge to an O line that struggled mightily last season.
Jabbar Juluke was the biggest coaching acquisition this year as he was hired as the associate head coach. Juluke comes with an extensive and quality coahing resume, most notably coaching recent NCAA superstars Kenneth Dixon, Leonard Fournette, and Derrius Guice.
It’s all up to this season for Kliff Kingsbury and staff. It’s safe to say that a winning season means that he’s retained and a losing season means he’s removed. Spring practices made the likelihood of a winning season look even more grim, however as we’ve seen through this series, there is some quality talent in the program currently.
Given Kirby Hocutt’s track record for hiring, we likely will not have to look far for Kingsbury’s replacement if Kliff is let go. Ruffin Mcneil, Sonny Dykes, and Sonny Cumbie will be the first names that come up given their notoriety and ties to Tech.
One name that will definitely entice the Board of Regents and Hocutt is LSU DC Dave Aranda. Aranda is a former Tech grad assistant who has helped make Wisconsin and LSU some of the most menacing defenses in the nation. With former co-worker Jabbar Juluke already in the program, hiring Aranda may be a quick transition.
The fact of the matter is this season is make or break for the Red Raiders. All of Red Raider nation wants Kliff to succeed, however if he fails to make a bowl game for the 3rd time in 5 years (something that hasn’t been done in over 30 years), then it would simply be time for coach bro to go.