Right Hire at the Right Time

Texas Tech announced the hiring of Darrin Chiaverini as special teams coordinator Thursday. Chiaverini starred at Colorado before playing for Cleveland, Dallas and Atlanta during his four-year NFL career. His coaching resume includes stops at Mt. San Antonio College, UCLA and most recently Riverside City College, where he was both the special teams and recruiting coordinator.

After Sonny Cumbie left Texas Tech for TCU, the Red Raiders were left with a gap to fill.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury filled the gap Thursday with the hiring of Darrin Chiaverini as the special teams coordinator.

Chiaverini is an experienced wide receiver who played for three teams in the NFL and played a key role in the first season of a new Cleveland Browns team. In 1999, Chiaverini caught 44 passes for 487 yards and four touchdowns. He was also a four year letterman for the Colorado Buffaloes.

Chiaverini has a tough task ahead of him though. His prior experience as a special teams assistant at UCLA and speciat teams coordinator as Riverside City (Calif.) College, will come in handy as Chiaverini takes over a dreadful special teams unit. The Red Raiders have not had good special teams in a while and at times it has really set Tech back.

Tech failed to return a touchdown on kickoffs and punts during the regular season. Reginald Davis returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown in the Holiday Bowl, but even in the near flawless game against Arizona State, the special teams had moments that made fans scream at their television sets or drop their beverage of choice at Qualcomm Stadium.

Tech's special teams were miserable against Oklahoma State. The Cowboys started in Tech territory multiple times throughout the game and starting field possession in the third quarter averaged out to be the Oklahoma State 48-yard line.

Special teams made crucial mistakes against Baylor starting with a missed extra point. Later on, the punting unit allowed a return for a touchdown. Another punt would've been blocked the following game had senior punter Ryan Erxleben not made a heads up play to score and become Tech's leading rusher for the game.

Chiaverini has his work cut out for him, but he is the first special teams coordinator to focus only on that aspect of the game since Eric Russell in 2009. Giving a full-time position to the special teams may be one of Kingsbury's brightest decisions of his young career.

Raider Power Top Stories