- Brandon Chatmon, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
DALLAS -- David Gibbs has made a terrific impression.
Texas Tech's new coordinator arrived in Lubbock, Texas with a goal of improving a Red Raider defense that finished at the bottom of the Big 12 in points per drive (2.97), third down conversions allowed (46.9 percent) and yards per pass attempt allowed (7.87).
Gibbs has his work cut out for him if he plans to transform Tech's defense into one of the Big 12's best. But he's off to a good start in terms of making a good impression.
"David Gibbs has been phenomenal," Red Raiders coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "We knew that he had the track record, had the credibility coming in. [He's] brought a different level of professionalism, accountability and discipline that we needed on that side of the ball. [I] Couldn't be more pleased with what I've seen thus far."
Gibbs came to the Red Raiders from Houston, where he coordinated a defense that forced 43 turnovers in 2014. He's brought that emphasis to Lubbock.
"I like Coach Gibbs because the way he approaches things is just different than a lot of people," defensive lineman Branden Jackson said. "He's all about turnovers, he's all about doing what's best for the team, not necessarily what's best for the [individual] player."
Despite the horrible numbers that sit alongside the Red Raiders defense on the stat sheet, Tech has enough talent on defense to change its reputation. Jackson is a solid force on the defensive front, pass rush demon Pete Robertson is one of the conference's most productive defenders and newcomer Mike Mitchell -- who is poised to play rush linebacker -- should make an immediate impact after sitting out a year following his transfer from Ohio State. Tech also features some young defenders, like cornerback Nigel Bethel and defensive tackle Breiden Fehoko, who could grow and mature into playmakers over the next few seasons.
"[We] have a young defense still," Kingsbury said. "It's an exciting group. He's related to the players really quickly. I'm excited to watch that group continue to grow this fall."
With nine years of NFL coaching experience, Gibbs also brings a unique combination of collegiate and pro coaching experience to Kingsbury's coaching staff.
"He's an interesting guy who comes with a pro perspective," Jackson said. "I like him a lot."