A couple of days after word first leaked that Tommy Tuberville was Texas Tech’s choice to replace Mike Leach, the university officially introduced Tuberville as the 14th head coach in the school’s history.
“This is a great day for Texas Tech University, the department of athletics, the football program and all of our fans,” athletic director Gerald Myers said in a statement released through the school. “Coach Tuberville exemplifies what we were looking for in a head coach. We are confident that his brand of defense, coupled with an offense Tech fans have become accustomed to, will continue Texas Tech football on the path to Big 12 Championships and our place in the Bowl Championship Series.
“Coach Tuberville also has a long tradition of graduating student-athletes and maintaining a high standing in the annual percentage rate (APR), one of the standards by which student-athletes are measured in the classroom,” Myers added. “Academics was an equally important factor when selecting our head coach and we are pleased Coach Tuberville agreed to lead us both on and off the field.”
At the press conference announcing his hiring, Tuberville said his first order of business — after already speaking to potential recruits just hours after accepting the job — was to get a handle on his coaching staff.
There have been many concerns expressed as to just how a “power” offensive coach will adapt to spread offense talent currently littering the roster.
While not addressing specifically what he will do, Tuberville said right now he will concentrate on naming his coordinators and going from there.
“I’m a believer of having a great offensivecoordinator and defensive coordinator,” Tuberville said. “But I alsobelieve in letting them have the opportunity tointerview coaches, to make sure that they fit intotheir beliefs and how they want them to coach,either receivers, running backs, quarterbacks,offensive line.
“So what will happen is my first order ofbusiness, as I told the coaching staff last night, thepresent coaching staff, is that I will hire those twocoaches first, and then we will sit down with eachcoach here on the staff. We will evaluate them andwe’ll evaluate other people.”
The new coach did hint that changes to the staff could be in the offing. When asked if any of the coaches currently on the staff will be candidates for the coordinator positions, Tuberville acknowledged that he’s “thought about that” before quickly adding that there are “four or five guys oneach side of the ball that are not on the staff that Iwant to talk to first.”
What this is looking like — and what some have feared — is that this is going to be Rich-Rodriguez-to-Michigan in reverse: attempting to pound round power football philosophies into square spread-based talent holes.
Hopefully, for the sake of Red Raider nation, that’s just a first-blush miscalculation on my part.
UPDATE 7:27 p.m. ET: At least for now, and based on Tuberville’s own words, you can forget that last concern when it comes to the Red Raiders’ offense. According to the new coach, they’re going to “air it out”.
“We’re going to air it out,” Tuberville said according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. “We’re going to keep the ‘Air Raid.’ I think it’s something that Tech has hit upon that gives them that identity to recruit and we all want to have.”
“Most of the time, the good players across the country can recognize Texas Tech from one thing, and that is the ‘Air Raid’ — throwing the football, making big plays and being exciting. And so we’re going to continue that.”