When Ryan Walters jumped ship to join Bret Beliema at the University of Illinois, one of his assistants at Mizzou seemed like an early favorite to replace him — secondary coach David Gibbs.
Gibbs, a former defensive coordinator at Texas Tech, remained one of Eli Drinkwitz’s top candidates throughout the course of the search, but was ultimately passed over for Steve Wilks. While the hiring didn’t seem to crush Gibbs’ spirits — he was posting about position group meetings within the week — it cemented the fact that if he wanted a promotion, it would have to be somewhere else.
On Thursday, that somewhere else came a-knocking. According to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, Gibbs is expected to join Gus Mahlzan’s staff at the University of Central Florida as the team’s co-defensive coordinator.
SOURCE: #Mizzou secondary coach David Gibbs is expected to join the staff at #UCF as co-defensive coordinator. Gibbs has been a DC at numerous FBS programs and also has spent a decade coaching in the NFL. He was the DC at Auburn when new UCF DC Travis Williams played LB there.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) February 18, 2021
Gibbs’ time at Missouri was a little more memorable than the average defensive assistant — he sparked a lot of discussion early on (particularly on this site) due to his philosophy on creating turnovers; he filled in for Ryan Walters when the DC was sidelined with COVID-19, leading Missouri to one of their best defensive efforts; and he played a part in several high-profile recruiting wins in the secondary. Isaac Thompson, a 2022 blue-chipper out of St. Louis, specifically called out Gibbs (and Drink) as reasons he chose the Tigers.
With just over a week until spring ball, Eli Drinkwitz has another vacancy to fill. It’ll be the third hire he’s made to his senior staff this offseason.