Houston interim head coach David Gibbs watches the action during the first half of the Armed Forces Bowl NCAA college football game against Pittsburgh,Friday, Jan. 2, 2015, in Fort Worth, Texas. Houston won 35-34. (AP Photo/Sharon Ellman)
Sharon Ellman
January 06, 2015

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) David Gibbs will try to turn around a struggling Texas Tech defense as his latest reclamation project.

The university announced that Gibbs would be taking over for interim defensive coordinator Mike Smith, who stepped in to replace Matt Wallerstedt after he resigned in September.

Gibbs is the eighth defensive coordinator for the Red Raiders since 2007.

Gibbs, who turns 47 on Saturday, leaves Houston after making the Cougars a top-20 defense that led the country in turnovers during his two years there. On Tuesday, a day after Texas Tech announced Gibbs' selection, football spokesman Blayne Beal said Gibbs will have a two-year contract worth $550,000 a year.

''With stops in both college football and the NFL, coach Gibbs will bring experience and ingenuity to our defensive unit,'' Red Raiders coach Kliff Kingsbury said in a statement.

The Red Raiders defense finished the season as one of the nation's worst during a 4-8 season.

''I have followed Kliff's career and believe special things are happening in Lubbock,'' Gibbs said in the statement. ''There are several talented, young defensive players that will contribute for years to come.''

Gibbs' defense for the Cougars came up with 73 turnovers, the most of any team in the FBS. Texas Tech has been among the bottom 10 in the nation in turnovers.

Gibbs served as the Cougars' interim coach for the Armed Services Bowl in Fort Worth last week following the firing of Tony Levine. Houston won 35-34, overcoming the largest fourth-quarter deficit in a bowl game.

Gibbs spent nine years in the NFL as a defensive backs coach. He was Minnesota's defensive coordinator from 1997-2000.

The Red Raiders have had new defensive coordinators for numerous years, starting with Ruffin McNeill who left in 2009 after Mike Leach's firing. Wallerstedt resigned for personal reasons.

Cougars defensive backs coach Zac Spavital also will join the Red Raiders staff.

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