With TCU’s Sonny Cumbie out of the mix at Texas, Charlie Strong is vetting other options for offensive coordinator.
According to 247Sports and other reports, Tulsa’s Sterlin Gilbert is on Texas’ campus on Wednesday morning interviewing with Strong. Cumbie withdrew his name from consideration after several days of deliberation.
Cumbie texted the American-Statesman, “Yes, I am staying. Was very tough.”
Gilbert, a former Texas high school coach, served as Tulsa’s coordinator this season after spending one year at Bowling Green. He is schooled in Art Briles’ uptempo offense.
At Tulsa, Gilbert directed a major statistical leap for quarterback Dane Evans, who ranks seventh nationally with 329 passing yards per game after averaging 258 a year ago.
According to his official bio, Gilbert coaches Tulsa’s receivers and quarterbacks.
Under first-year head coach Philip Montgomery, Tulsa put together a 6-6 regular season and will play Virginia Tech on Dec. 26 in the Independence Bowl. Offensively, the Golden Hurricane ranks No. 14 nationally with 502 yards per game.
Before making the jump to FBS, Gilbert oversaw a magnificent 2013 season by Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who threw for more than 5,000 yards and was chosen in the second round of the NFL draft by the New England Patriots. EIU had a big year, prompting head coach Dino Babers to accept the job at Bowling Green where Gilbert followed.
Gilbert has extensive experience in the Texas high school ranks, coaching at Temple, San Angelo Lake View, Abilene Cooper and Springtown. In 2005, he was a graduate assistant for Briles at Houston.
If Texas were to hire Gilbert, he might ask to bring along Tulsa offensive line coach Matt Mattox, who was also on Babers’ staff at Bowling Green.
By all accounts, Cumbie was Strong’s first choice. The two met Sunday in Fort Worth and again on Monday in Austin, but Cumbie had not made up his mind by Tuesday evening. At Texas, he would’ve escaped the oversight of TCU’s primary play-caller Doug Meacham, but Cumbie may have had concerns about latching onto Strong’s make-or-break third season in 2016.