Texas Tech fires 3 defensive coaches

Published Dec. 1, 2015 3:06 p.m. ET

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -- Texas Tech fired three defensive assistant coaches Tuesday, all of them former players with the Red Raiders.

Mike Smith was co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach, Kevin Curtis coached the secondary and Trey Haverty handled outside linebackers. All had been on the staff since coach Kliff Kingsbury, a former Red Raiders quarterback, arrived in 2013.

The move comes about a year after Kingsbury hired defensive coordinator David Gibbs away from Houston. Gibbs took over for Smith, who became interim defensive coordinator when Matt Wallerstedt resigned in September 2014.

The Red Raiders' defense fared poorly this season. After 12 games, they ranked 125th in total defense, giving up 540.2 yards per game. They rank 124th in giving up 42 points per game.

Texas Tech improved from 4-8 last year to 7-5 this season.

It was unclear whether Gibbs and Kingsbury would hire anyone to fill the spots before Texas Tech's bowl game. The Red Raiders are off this week and await a bowl selection Sunday.

In the release, Kingsbury said he appreciated what Smith, Curtis and Haverty did the past three seasons.


"All three are great Red Raiders and we wish them the very best," he said.

The departures leaves just one of the five former Red Raiders that Kingsbury brought on as coaches when he was hired. Eric Morris remains the offensive coordinator.