Football

Texas Tech Hires Sonny Cumbie as Offensive Coordinator; Adds Another Transfer DB

Sonny came home (I apologize in advance for this reference).

Texas Tech has confirmed that they have hired TCU offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie to be Texas Tech’s offensive coordinator.

Well, I don’t think that this was on anyone’s “hey! this is my made up list of possible offensive coordinator options!” possibilities because this was not in the realm of possibilities for me.

This is a bit of a complicated hire. As you may recall, Cumbie was the co-offensive coordinator in name when Kingsbury was hired. In fact, Cumbie was a holdover from the Mike Leach and Tommy Tuberville eras where he was hired as graduate assistant and was promoted to a coaching position under Tuberville. Both Eric Morris and Cumbie were then hired by Kliff Kingsbury as co-offensive coordinators, but by 2014, Cumbie would be hired by Gary Patterson and TCU. While at TCU, Cumbie allegedly took the stolen signs from deposed defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt when Kingsbury was the head coach and hung 82 points on Kingsbury, his former boss, and Texas Tech, his alma mater. I suppose we adopt the “sweep the leg” mantra in times like these. No mercy.

Even with the 82 point out-put, Cumbie’s offenses have not been great, which is an understatement. You can pick the advanced stat, but I’ll go with FEI, which is an offensive efficiency statistic, this is TCU’s ranking nationally since 2014 (with Texas Tech’s in parentheses):

2014: 17th (Texas Tech 33rd)
2015: 27th (Texas Tech 7th)
2016: 68th (Texas Tech 5th)
2017: 37th (Texas Tech 24th)
2018: 111th (Texas Tech 49th)
2019: 82nd (Texas Tech 51st)
2020: 53rd (Texas Tech 65th)

This is true no matter who is the offensive coordinator, that if you don’t have a great quarterback then you are likely not to have a great offense, especially for teams like Texas Tech which is so reliant on the passing game. It’s not always true, but I think an argument can be made that great offenses are symbiotic with having a great quarterback.

TCU has become a more running oriented team lately, running for 2,147 yards out of 4,110 in 2020 and running for 2,448 yards out of 4,892 in 2019. That means that just a shade over 50% of the yards are through the air, which is really not the  throw-the-ball-down-the-field spread offense that we knew under Kingsbury.

And things had gotten a bit complicated at TCU as well. When TCU was high-flying, Doug Meacham was the co-offensive coordinator, he left for a while and returned this year (I think) as the inside receivers coach and Jerry Kill is at TCU as the special assistant to Gary Patterson, but Kill was/is an offensive guy and may have had input on the offense this year for sure.

And Wells may not be done. This tweet surfaced and hasn’t been confirmed by anyone, but Thomsen was part of that regime at Texas Tech with Cumbie, and is now a deputy head coach and tight ends coach at Florida State.

Still though, there are lots of fans who are cheering this move by head coach Matt Wells, including incoming freshman quarterback Behren Morton and some guy named Patrick Mahomes.

In addition to the Cumbie news, Texas Tech added to the defense yet again with Duke safety Marquis Waters (6-1/200), who I think will be a grad transfer. Waters had 71 tackles last year, including 7 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, 2 quarterback hurries, and 7 pass break-ups (Just giving you a heads-up if you watch the video, there is sound).

Waters is the second transfer defensive back after Texas Tech added NC State defensive back Malik Dunlap over the weekend.

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