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Mizzou to retain David Gibbs

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Missouri announced Thursday that new football coach Eliah Drinkwitz will retain defensive assistant David Gibbs. Gibbs coached cornerbacks for the Tigers last season. His role for the 2020 season has not been specified.

Gibbs represents the third defensive assistant retained by Drinkwitz from Barry Odom's staff, joining defensive line coach Brick Haley and defensive coordinator Ryan Walters. Missouri's defense ranked 14th nationally last season and was especially effective against the pass, where it ranked eighth.

“Coach Gibbs is a great fit for our defensive staff,” Drinkwitz said in a release. “He’s well-respected within the profession as a developer of talent, and he’s got invaluable experience at both the collegiate and NFL levels. I’m excited about his expertise and how he can help shape the philosophy within our defensive staff.”

“I’m excited to be part of Coach Drink’s staff at Mizzou; it’s a great opportunity for me and my family,” said Gibbs. “I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Coach Walters. We did some good things here defensively last season, and we’ve got a great group of kids coming back who are excited to work hard to improve this program.”

David Gibbs will remain on Missouri's staff under Eliah Drinkwitz.
David Gibbs will remain on Missouri's staff under Eliah Drinkwitz. (Jordan Kodner)

Gibbs spent 25 years in coaching prior to his arrival at Missouri, including 11 seasons as a college defensive coordinator and nine years in the NFL. Most recently, he served as the defensive coordinator at Texas Tech from 2015-2018. Gibbs' units became known for their tendency to force turnovers. The Red Raiders went from minus-13 in the turnover margin prior to Gibbs' arrival in 2014 to plus-2 in 2015. In 2017, they ranked sixth nationally with 29 takeaways.

In addition to Gibbs, Walters and Haley, veteran assistant Charlie Harbison will join Missouri's staff on the defensive side of the ball. Harbison spent 2019 coaching under Drinkwitz at Appalachian State. How each coach's Individual responsibilities shake out remains to be seen, but Drinkwitz said he expects Missouri's defensive scheme to remain the same as a season ago.

What I value is the ability to keep continuity within the scheme, because every time you start a new learning process, you take away the ability to play fast for a player," Drinkwitz told reporters on Wednesday. "Defensively, the faster you can play, the better."

Drinkwitz is also expected to add TCU co-offensive coordinator Curtis Luper to his staff, according to multiple reports. The school has not yet confirmed the hire. After that, he will have two more full-time assistant positions left to fill.