Houston (8-5) went on to the biggest comeback in an FBS game this season, and the third-largest in a bowl game.
Friday, January 2 - 11 a.m. - ESPN
Game Notes: Houston at Cincinnati
Postgame Notes: Houston 35, SMU 9
Friday, Nov. 28 - 11 a.m. - Dallas, Texas
Coach Gibbs interviewed by Ellie Pardee
David Gibbs enters his second season as Houston's defensive coordinator. The 21-year coaching veteran has six years of experience as a defensive coordinator on the NCAA FBS level and nine years of NFL coaching experience. Gibbs has been part of a coaching staff that has played in a bowl game in eight of his 12 years on the collegiate level.
Under Gibbs' leadership, the Houston defense was the third-most improved scoring defense nationally and ranked 20th nationally in allowing 21.8 points per game after allowing 36 points a game in 2012.
The 2013 Houston defense led the nation with 43 turnovers forced to help lead the Cougars to a nation's best +25 turnover margin. Trevon Stewart led the nation and set a UH record with six fumble recoveries while Adrian McDonald led The American Athletic Conference with six interceptions.
Prior to Houston, Gibbs last collegiate coaching stop was 2005 when he served as defensive coordinator at Auburn. The Tiger defense ranked sixth nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 15.5 points per game, while ranking 11th in sacks with 39 and 16th in third-down defense.
On the professional level, Gibbs spent a combined nine seasons in Denver, Kansas City and Houston as a defensive backs coach. Teams sporting Gibbs on staff finished in the top 12 of total defense five times and advanced to the NFL Playoffs on three occasions. Three players under Gibbs earned NFL Pro Bowl selections in Champ Bailey, John Lynch and Deltha O'Neal.
Gibbs received his NFL start in Denver where in his first year the Denver defense ranked No. 6 in the league in interceptions and No. 9 in total defense. In 2002 the defense improved to No. 6 in total defense and No. 3 in passing touchdowns allowed.
The following two years saw Denver advance to the playoffs as the Broncos ranked fourth in the NFL in total defense both years. Both years saw the squad finish sixth in passing defense and in the top 10 of scoring defense.
In his return to the NFL in 2006, Gibbs assisted a Kansas City defense that improved in one season from 25th in total defense to 12th. In 2007, the Chiefs improved to No. 5 in the league in passing defense while ranking fourth in passing touchdowns allowed. The team allowed just one 300-yard passer in each of his first two seasons in Kansas City. After helping the 2008 Kansas City defense to finish ninth in turnovers forced, Gibbs moved to Houston where the Texans' pass defense improved seven spots to 10th in the league in passing defense in his first year.
Gibbs became the youngest coordinator on the FBS level at the time as the then 29-year old took over as a defensive coordinator at Minnesota in 1997. Gibbs improved a Minnesota defense that had ranked last in the Big Ten in 1996 to one that was ranked eighth in the nation in pass efficiency defense and scoring defense by 1999.
His defense helped lead the Golden Gophers to back-to-back bowl games in 1999 and 2000. Players from Gibbs' span at the school (1997-2000) currently own 17 individual defensive records at Minnesota while his 1997 group holds the team record with 41 sacks in a season.
Under Gibbs' tutelage, Tyrone Carter won the 1999 Jim Thorpe Award and back-to-back All-America honors in 1998 and 1999. Defensive end Lamanzer Williams earned All-American honors in Gibbs' first year, 1997, as Gibbs' defense produced an All-American in three consecutive seasons for the first time at Minnesota since 1961-63.
Defensive end Karon Riley was named the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2000. Under Gibbs, six Minnesota defensive players earned first team All-Big Ten honors while six more earned second team honors.
Gibbs earned his first full-time coaching position in 1995 at the University of Kansas where he coached the program's defensive backs. The Jayhawks advanced to just their eighth bowl game in program history in Gibbs first year where they defeated UCLA in the Hawaii Bowl. Defensive back Dorian Brew earned All-Big Eight honors in Gibbs' first season at Kansas while Tony Blevins and Jason Harris each earned All-Big 12 honors under Gibbs.
Gibbs first got in the coaching door with back-to-back two-year stints as a graduate assistant at Colorado and Oklahoma before moving on to Kansas. Oklahoma won the 1991 Gator Bowl while Colorado collected wins in the 1993 Aloha Bowl and 1994 Fiesta Bowl with Gibbs on staff.
The Auburn, Ala., native was a four-year letterman at the University of Colorado from 1987-90 and started at defensive back for the 1990 national-title winning Colorado team and the 11-1 1989 team that finished fourth nationally in the season's final polls. Gibbs graduated from Colorado in 1990, earning Academic All-Big Eight honors as a senior.
Zach McMillian (Houston) - 2013 The American Second Team