Tuberville Builds Young Coaching Staff at Texas Tech|
Tommy Tuberville is in his second season at the helm of the Red Raider program.
Oct. 28, 2011
by Britton Drown
Alone in the offensive meeting room on a Friday morning, Neal Brown sat peering at a large projection screen in front of him. Only a few hours remained before he was to leave for Norman, Okla., but still he found time for a final film session before the short trip with the Red Raiders.
With a small remote in hand, he reclined in the black office chair and peered at the large projection screen in front of him.
The tape reversed as the small players on the screen quickly returned back to a set offensive formation.
He clicked the remote once more, and those same players moved methodically in a uniform motion while a play unfolded on the brightly lit screen. A quarterback with a yellow no-contact jersey handed the ball off to a running back that shifted side-to-side before approaching the line of scrimmage, and scampering up field.
It was just after 9:30 a.m. inside the dark conference room and Brown, who is in his second season as offensive coordinator at Texas Tech, was cramming one last film session in before catching the team flight to Oklahoma City.
"This is a young man's game," he said. "Just from the hours you put in."
Yes, Brown and the Texas Tech coaching staff certainly put in long hours during the football season, a 15-16 hour work day is not unusual in their office, but in using the word `young', he may have provided the best word to describe this staff.
They're young in both age, and their tenure at Tech, but they are already producing results on the field.
The Texas Tech coaching staff is one of the youngest in the nation, and it's one that Brown helped to build two years ago when he arrived in Lubbock from Troy University to serve as an integral part of head coach Tommy Tuberville's staff.
One of Tuberville's main goals when arriving at Tech was to improve the squad's rushing attack and in the process build a more balanced offensive unit.
It didn't take long for just that to happen. During the staff's first season on the field together in 2010, Texas Tech saw a significant spike in their ground production, improving from just 84 rushing yards per-game the year before to 141.3 yards per-game that year. This season, the Red Raiders have only continued to improve, averaging 155 yards per-contest.
"I think each year that you are together it's a positive," inside receivers coach Sonny Cumbie said. "You continue to grow, and you know each other and you work well with one another."
The key to their success together has been not only building a solid product on the field, but also building a solid relationship with one another off the field.
It's something that didn't take long for defensive coordinator Chad Glasgow to feel amongst the coaches when he arrived on staff earlier this year. Glasgow, who served as the safeties coach at TCU for 10 seasons, where he helped to build one of the top defensive units in the country, joined the Texas Tech staff on January 21.
The staff is comprised of seven coaches under Tuberville who are in their first two seasons at Texas Tech, along with Glasgow and head strength and conditioning coach Joe Walker who are in their first season. Offensive line coach Matt Moore boasts the longest tenure with the program as he is in the midst of his fifth season with the Red Raiders.
Last Saturday marked perhaps the most significant win together. The young group of coaches guided the Red Raiders to a victory over No. 1 ranked and previously undefeated Oklahoma in Norman, 41-38. Entering the game, Oklahoma boasted a 39-game winning streak inside the intimidating confines of Oklahoma-Memorial Stadium before Texas Tech snapped that impressive streak in a gutsy performance. Oklahoma's home-winning streak spanned over six years, and was the nation's longest active home-winning streak at the time.
"It's one game," Tuberville said after the win. "But it's a huge game--for recruiting, and for national stature."
It was a step towards building what Tuberville envisions he can eventually accomplish in Lubbock. One of his main objectives when building his coaching staff was to bring in a group that could relate to the players, and relate to recruits. With a young staff, and more importantly, one that believes in a single goal, he feels he can accomplish just that.
"Recruiters," Tuberville said when asked what he was keen on when building his staff. "Guys that believe in the philosophy that I have, and that can work well together. I can find coaches, but I need players. Coaches are the ones that find players."
After securing one of the program's best recruiting classes last year, and another impressive class on the way, that philosophy seems to be working.
"Texas Tech is an easy sell," Cumbie said. "It's a great school, it's very good academically, and it's a great college town. So the product that you are selling is a quality product that is a national brand.
It's been just a season and a half, but clearly this coaching staff combines a sense of chemistry with production on the field. It's something that is a delicate balance, but that these young assistant coaches certainly understand.
"We are all in this together," assistant Tommy Mainord said. "We realize that is the only way to win."