The University of Houston had a much better year than expected on the defensive side of the ball in 2013. Defensive coordinator David Gibbs, who led one of the biggest statistical turnarounds in college football, was rewarded Friday with a new multi-year contract.
Gibbs and the Cougars agreed to a two year deal that gave him a “significant pay raise” that will make him one of the highest paid assistants in the American Athletic Conference. Gibbs, 46, had one year remaning on his original contract after a sucessful first season guiding U of H’s “Third Ward Defense.”
The university tore that contract up and rewarded Gibbs with a new one, not long after he drew interest from the University of Georgia last week to fill their then vacant defensive coordinator position. What a difference a year made for Gibbs and the U of H defense.
He was a wanted commodity a year after not being wanted at all. Gibbs spent the 2012 football season coachong in the UFL when no professional or college jobs came calling. Prior to the year in obscurity in the UFL, he had a nine year NFL stint as a position coach. That included two years as defensive backs coach for the Texans in 2010-2011 before being let go.
Gibbs enjoyed a splendid return to the Bayou City this season. A young U of H defense played well and exceeded all expectations. They finished first in the nation with 43 forced turnovers and 20th in scoring defense, allowing 21.8 ppg. That was leaps and bounds above 2012, when Houston was 110th nationally by allowing 36 ppg.
In back to back games against likely first round picks and potential Texans quarterback prospects Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater, the Cougars allowed only 19 and 20 points respectively. Those point totals were the second lowest for Bortles and UCF, and the lowest for Bridgewater and Louisville this season.