LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech University officially introduced Tommy Tuberville as the 14th head football coach in the Red Raider program’s 85-year history at a Sunday afternoon press conference at United Spirit Arena on the Texas Tech campus.
Dr. Guy Bailey, university president, made the formal announcement, before Tech Director of Athletics Gerald Myers introduced Tuberville to a capacity-filled media room and legions of fans viewing over the internet.
“This is a great day for Texas Tech University, the department of athletics, the football program and all of our fans,” Myers said. “Coach Tuberville exemplifies what we were looking for in a head coach. We are confident that his brand of defense, coupled with an offense Tech fans have become accustomed to, will continue Texas Tech football on the path to Big 12 Championships and our place in the Bowl Championship Series.
“Coach Tuberville also has a long tradition of graduating student-athletes and maintaining a high standing in the annual percentage rate (APR), one of the standards by which student-athletes are measured in the classroom,” Myers added. “Academics was an equally important factor when selecting our head coach and we are pleased Coach Tuberville agreed to lead us both on and off the field.”
Tuberville inherits a program that has been bowl eligible for a Big 12 record 16 consecutive seasons and has won 29 games in the last three seasons. His SEC coaching pedigree suggests that his impact on the Red Raider program will be substantial and his first test will arrive on Sept. 4 when Texas Tech opens the 2010 season at home against the SMU Mustangs.
In 10 seasons at Auburn, Tuberville led the Tigers to 85 overall wins, which ranks fourth in school history. The Tigers also won 49 Southeastern Conference games, a number that is the fourth-best mark in the SEC. Tuberville led Auburn to seven straight bowl appearances, including New Year’s Day bowl games in four of those years.
Auburn defeated five top 15 teams in 2004, becoming just the 10th NCAA Division I-A team to finish 13-0 or better at the time. The Tigers earned their first ever berth in a Bowl Championship Series game and defeated Virginia Tech, 16-13 in the Sugar Bowl. For his efforts, Tuberville was named the AFCA, Associated Press, Paul “Bear” Bryant, FCA, SEC and Walter Camp Coach of the Year. Over the course of his tenure at Auburn, he captured or shared five SEC West Division titles and finished second two other times.
Tuberville built an Auburn program that excelled both on and off the field. Players flourished under Tuberville’s guidance as Auburn earned 36 first-team All-Southeastern Conference awards, eight All-America honors, 26 SEC All-Freshmen accolades, 57 SEC Player of the Week honors, two SEC Player of the Year awards, two Jacobs Awards presented annually to the league’s top blocker and one Most Valuable Player of the SEC Championship game.
Thirty-two players were selected in the NFL Draft including an SEC-record four in the first round of the 2005 Draft. Running backs Ronnie Brown and Carnell Williams were taken second and fifth respectively, while cornerback Carlos Rogers was selected ninth overall and quarterback Jason Campbell was picked 25th in the first round. It also marked the first time in NFL Draft history that an entire backfield from the same team was taken in the first round. From 2004 to 2009, 26 Auburn players were drafted, including 22 in the last five drafts. Of those 22 selections since 2005, almost half were selected in the first two rounds – five first-round selections and five second- round picks.
Off the field, Auburn earned more than 80 SEC Academic Honor Roll distinctions during Tuberville’s tenure and when the NCAA released its Academic Progress Report (APR) in February 2006, Auburn football had a multi-year score of 981, which was the highest score among public BCS conference institutions. The program received public recognition from the NCAA for being in the top 10 percentile nationally and was one of only four BCS institutions to earn such distinctions.
Tuberville also believes in giving back to the community. Among other activities, he hosted charity golf tournaments for Camp ASCAA, the Girls and Boys Club of Montgomery, the Auburn University Marching Band and the Alabama Sheriff’s Youth Ranch.
Tuberville’s community service reached well beyond the local, state and national level in May 2008, when he participated in the inaugural Armed Forces Entertainment Coaches Tour in the Middle East with fellow college coaches Mark Richt of Georgia, Randy Shannon of Miami (Fla.), Jack Siedlecki of Yale and Charlie Weis of Notre Dame. With a mission to help boost troop morale, the six-day tour made stops at military bases in Germany, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and a visit to the USS Nassau in the Persian Gulf.
In addition, Tuberville continually stressed the importance of participating in community service projects to Auburn's football team. Auburn football players regularly read at local schools, served as mentors and visited with the elderly. During the 2007 and 2008 summers, the football team spent a day working at Story Book Farm which is a non-profit organization that provides therapeutic horseback riding for children suffering from disabilities, chronic illnesses or those who have suffered a loss.
Tuberville understands the process and commitment it takes to build a successful program. Coaching stops at perennial college football powers University of Miami and Texas A&M and a four-year head coaching stint at the University of Mississippi gave him the background in building and maintaining a successful program.
While at Ole Miss from 1995-98, Tuberville posted a 25-20 record. Inheriting a Rebel program plagued by NCAA sanctions and probation, he guided Ole Miss to a winning record in his first season in 1995, despite having just 61 players on scholarship. He did not have a full complement of scholarship players to work with in any of his four years at Ole Miss.
By the time he had three recruiting classes under his belt, Tuberville led Ole Miss to an 8-4 mark and a victory in the inaugural Motor City Bowl in 1997. His efforts earned him Associated Press SEC Coach of the Year Honors and American Football Quarterly magazine selected him as runner-up for its Schutt Sports Coach of the Year honor.
Prior to becoming head coach at Ole Miss, Tuberville served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Texas A&M for one season. In 1994, he helped lead the Aggies to a 10-0-1 record and No. 8 final ranking by the Associated Press. Under his direction, the Aggie defense finished fourth nationally in scoring defense (13.1 ppg), fifth in total defense (265.5 ypg) and sixth in rushing defense (92.4 ypg).
Tuberville served as a member of the University of Miami staff for eight seasons from 1986-93, taking over as defensive coordinator in 1993. While serving on the staffs of Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson at Miami, Tuberville was a defensive coach on teams which won three national championships, posted an 87-9 record and played in nine consecutive New Year's Day bowls.
As defensive coordinator for the Hurricanes in 1993, Tuberville directed a Miami defense which was ranked No. 3 nationally in scoring defense (12.6 ppg) and No. 5 nationally in pass defense (91.15 ypg). Tuberville began his collegiate coaching career at Arkansas State in 1980, coaching various segments of the Indians' defense over the next five seasons. During a five-year stay at Arkansas State, Tuberville coached defensive backs, nose guards and linebackers. During his final year at ASU, the Indians advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs.
He began his coaching career at Hermitage (Ark.) High School where he spent two years as an assistant and two as a head coach. After three straight four-win seasons, Tuberville guided HHS to a 7-3 mark in 1979 before moving to Arkansas State.
A 1976 graduate of Southern Arkansas University, Tuberville was a letterman at free safety and a two-year member of the golf team at SAU. He is a 1972 graduate of Harmony Grove High School in Camden, Ark.
Tuberville is married to the former Suzanne Fette of Guilford, Ind. They are the parents of two sons, Thomas Tucker and Troy Allen.