This was initially reported by Red Raider Sports (link goes to the initial Twitter report and link at RRS is behind a paywall). And now, thanks to Wreck’Em 24/7’s Carlos Silva (via the LAJ) where he also has some quotes from Damarcus Fields, Houston Miller and Desmon Smith about the situation.
In any event, the news is still the same and one that is a bit difficult to take. Kevin Curtis and Mike Smith were part of the initial hire by Kliff Kingsbury when he was hired at Texas Tech three years ago. Curtis was the cornerbacks coach and recently moved to defensive backs, while Smith was originally the linebackers coach, the interim defensive coordinator when Matt Wallerstedt was terminated and was the defensive line coach this year.
With the defense struggling as much as it has over the course of Kingsbury’s tenure this was maybe not unexpected. The pass defense was 113th this year, 98th in 2014, and 40th in 2013. The rushing defense was 122nd in 2015, 124th in 2014, and 99th in 2013. These stats are entirely the fault of these two coaches, but they, along with the players, and Wallerstedt, were certainly part of the equation.
It also signals the idea that defensive coordinator is fully in charge of the defense, having the ability to let go of two long-standing coaches for the program. It will be interesting to see what direction Gibbs decides to go with two additional hires.
I’d add one other item, which is that perhaps this signals quite the change for Kingsbury as he is willing to let his friends go in order to win games. Or hopefully win games.