Breaking News: Tommy Tuberville Named Texas Tech Head Coach

Robert BrooksCorrespondent IJanuary 9, 2010

Texas Tech's head coaching search is finally over.

It came down to Ruffin McNeil or Tommy Tuberville, and from the looks of it, head coaching experience won out.

ESPN is reporting that Tuberville has been named the latest coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders in place of Mike Leach.

Defensive Coordinator Ruffin McNeil seemed like the obvious replacement after leading Tech to a 41-31 bowl victory against Michigan State the week Mike Leach was fired.

He showed a compassion and love for his team that was quite different than the Mike Leach approach.

Then former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville threw his name into the mix. And with his record and resume', Tech administrators couldn't help but listen.

He brings with him an 85-40 record at Auburn, where he led the Tigers to eight consecutive bowl appearances before last year's 5-7 season that led to a confusing resignation/dismissal that left a bitter taste in the mouth of many.

Tuberville is a proven winner, but his work ethic and recruiting tactics were heavily questioned by many after he led Auburn to to 13-0 record in 2004.

Stepping into to a new situation in a new conference should give Tuberville the boost that he lacked in his final years at Auburn.

If not, the results may not come as the Red Raiders hope.

Regardless, this is a big-name hire for Texas Tech, and the results could pay off significantly. Tuberville is a great defensive mind, and his Auburn teams routinely finished in the Top 10 in most defensive categories.

The most interesting situation to watch will be his choice of assistants to complement his staff. Tuberville made many big-name hires for coordinators in his time on the Plains, but usually failed to retain them.

These names included current Auburn head coach Gene Chizik, current Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads, and Texas DC Will Muschamp.

If Texas Tech can couple their always-potent offense with Tuberville's defenses of old, the Big 12 South could get very interesting.