On November 23, 2020, the Texas Tech University Athletic Association (TSUA) announced that it would be hiring former FBS defensive coordinator Mike Stoops as its new head football coach.
Stoops had previously been the defensive coordinator at the University of Texas at Austin (UTSA), and the two teams combined to win seven conference titles from 2010-2016.
But he spent the last few seasons as a head coach at FSU, where he had been the linebackers coach under former defensive coordinator Ed Orgeron.
During his tenure at FBS schools, Stoops compiled a record of 4-11 in league play, but had also made three bowl games, a Sugar Bowl, and a national championship game appearance in three seasons.
In that time, he had also compiled a 10-24 record in his two seasons as the head coach of FSU.
But this was a different era, when college football was undergoing a dramatic change.
The internet had made it possible to watch games in real time on television and had made the college football landscape more competitive.
Stoopes’ teams had won three national championships under Orgerons defense, but were also in the thick of a playoff hunt that included Florida State, Clemson, and LSU.
After the season was over, Stoopes was hired to coach at Texas Tech and became the new head coach after Orgerson stepped down to pursue other opportunities.
In a news conference following the announcement, Stoels was asked about the recruiting process he had to go through before making the move to Texas Tech.
He responded by saying that he had no hesitation in making the decision.
Stoons first job with the Red Raiders was as defensive coordinator from 2019-2020.
He was hired after being the defensive line coach at Tennessee Tech, and his coaching style was similar to what Orger did at Tennessee.
Stoels played defensive back at Tennessee, and played for the Volunteers from 2011-2018.
Stoes had been a defensive coordinator for two years at Tennessee and also spent time as a graduate assistant at UTSA before he joined the FSU staff.
After taking over the position in 2018, Stoos began to implement a new scheme that featured a 4-3 base defense.
He also began to incorporate an up-tempo, fast, spread-option offense.
His new scheme was successful and helped the Red Raider defense improve as a unit.
In 2019, the Red Sharks finished the regular season with a 9-2 record, including an undefeated season and two bowl games.
But they fell to No. 1 in the Big 12, losing to Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
Stofts first hire at Texas came with a 3-10 record in 2017.
But in 2018 he was promoted to the interim head coach position, and after the season Texas Tech defeated Baylor to win the Cotton Bowl.
During the same season, Stofts was promoted from assistant coach to defensive coordinator.
In 2020, Stoppings defense improved with a 7-3 record.
His teams defense ranked second in the nation, allowing only 16.3 points per game, and ranked fifth in the country in total defense (405.7 yards per game).
Stoops’ coaching style did not change much during his tenure with the Longhorns, as he played defensive end in 2017 and 2016, and he also served as a defensive backs coach at UTEP in 2016.
However, Stoiles changed his offensive approach and began to lean more heavily on the spread-options.
The Red Raiders offense averaged just over 37 points per contest in 2017, and they averaged just under 30 points per match in 2020.
Stoiles led the Red Shark defense in tackles for loss (2.9) and forced fumbles (12), but he also played in the backfield more than he did as a run-defensive end.
Stoices defense also gave up just one touchdown pass per game during his time with the Horned Frogs, which is a high number for a defensive team.
In 2017, the Horns finished second in total offense (438.9 yards per match) and fourth in scoring defense (39.2 points per opponent).
Stoels defensive coaching style improved as the year went on, but he continued to rely on his 4-2-5 scheme that he began to employ in 2019.
Stoets offense averaged 41.8 points per team match, which was sixth-highest in the conference.
The Horns defense also ranked second-highest nationally in scoring offense (48.6 points per offense), but they also finished fifth in total yards allowed (5,066.7 per game) and sixth in scoring (25.9 points per half).
The Red Raider offense continued to improve throughout the year, but in 2020, they were one of just five teams to finish with an 8-3 regular season record and finish with a perfect 7-0 record.
Stovers defensive coaching success was