RIO GRANDE VALLEY – Vaqueros University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) head football coach. Travis Busch announced the hiring on Wednesday Brian Gamble to be the first defensive coordinator in program history.
“I’ve known Brian for a long time and I’m really excited to finally be working with him. He will add value to this program in many different areas,” Bush said. “Brian was on the original coaching staff of Incarnate Word when this program began and will have great learnings from the experience. The son of a legendary Texas high school coach, Brian has been in the game his whole life and has great relationships with high school coaches who help us with recruitment.
“Brian has also played at a high level at Texas A&M, he’s coached at many levels, and last season he helped coordinate one of the most improved defenses in the country at FBS,” Bush added. “These experiences helped him put together a package that allows the vaqueros to play an offensive defensive style with multiple fronts and covers. We can’t wait to start recruiting this spring.”
Gamble spent the 2021 and 2022 seasons coaching the Inside Linebackers at Texas State. He contributed to a defensive turnaround at San Marcos that resulted in Texas State’s best defensive production in the program’s FBS history, dating back to 2012. Texas State recorded best overall defense (354.3 yards per game), rush defense (111.7 yards/game). , scoring defense (25 points/game), tackles for loss (71), yards per play (5.2), and points per drive (2.01) in FBS program history in 2022.
Gamble was the linebacker coach at Louisiana Tech for three seasons (2018-20). There he led linebackers Trey Baldwin And Tyler Grubbs to second-team All-Conference USA Honors and three Honorable Mention All-C-USA Defensive Selections in Willie Baker, Collin Scott And Connor Taylor. Baldwin led C-USA with 5.9 solo tackles per game while Grubbs also received Freshman All-America honors.
Louisiana Tech went 23-13 during Gamble’s tenure, including a 10-win season in 2019 — the first for the program since 1984. The 10th The win was a 14-0 win over Miami in the 2019 Independence Bowl and marked the first shutout in bowl history and the only shutout of the bowl season. Louisiana Tech ranked 30thth in the country in goal defense in 2019 as the Bulldogs allowed just 21.8 points per game — the program’s fewest since 1991.
In 2008, Gamble joined the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) as a defensive line coach and spent 10 seasons with the Cardinals. In 2012, he was named defensive coordinator.
In Gamble’s first season at UIW, the Cardinals finished 16thth in the nation in tackles for losses per game and 33approx in sacks per game. When Gamble became defensive coordinator, he switched defense to a 3-4 front. UIW finished fourth in the Lonestar Conference in passing yards per game this season (216). In 2013, UIW recorded its first two shutouts in program history, holding four opponents to less than 10 points. Four defensive players were named second-team or third-team College Sports Madness All-Independent this season.
In 2015, Gamble’s defense ranked first in yards allowed per game among Texas Division I programs and finished fourth in the Southland Conference in points allowed and third in yards allowed. The UIW defense was 18th in the nation at fourth down conversion percentage, 21St at interception, 27th total first downs allowed, 37th in yards allowed per game and 39th in total yards allowed per game.
Gamble also mentored the All-America linebacker Myke Tavarres and second-team all-region cornerback Devan Avery.
“After speaking to Coach Bush and UTRGV Vice President and Athletics Director Chasse Conque, It was evident that UTRGV is committed to building a program the right way and it was an easy decision that this was something I wanted to be a part of,” said Gamble. “It’s a great opportunity to be a coordinator, let alone the first in a program’s history. Being able to lay a foundation and set a standard is a great responsibility and privilege. I look forward to working with our staff and the university to bring the best possible product to market and educate our young people to be something the UTRGV family can be proud of.
“I would like to thank my wife and children for all their support along this journey. Thanks to Coach Bush for giving me the opportunity to build this program from the ground up,” Gamble added. “Having coached at almost every level of college football and being a part of very successful defenses from junior college to FBS, I’ve gained valuable experience and learned to be resourceful. I intend to use this experience to help us as we build UTRGV. I want our defense to play smart, fast, physical and have fun for as long as it takes.
A Texas A&M graduate, Gamble played for the Aggies from 1999-2002 and was a starting linebacker for four years while earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Leadership and Development. He started 46 consecutive games and 47 overall, amassing a total of 341 tackles in his career. During his senior season, Gamble ranked second on the team with 82 tackles.
Gamble was the Big 12 Freshman of the Year and a Second Team Freshman All-America Honoree in 1999 after recording 60 tackles with 10 tackles for losses and two sacks in 10 starts as a freshman. He led Texas A&M with 110 tackles as a sophomore en route to All-Big 12 Honorable Mention. Gamble was a 2001 preseason selection for the third-team All-America and was a 2002 Butkus Award watchlist. In his final season, he was voted captain of the defensive squad by his teammates.
Gamble’s coaching career began at Kilgore College in 2004 when he served as linebacker coach and helped lead the team to a 5th-ranked finish and a 10-2 record. He was a graduate assistant at Houston from 2005-2007 and helped the Cougars win the 2006 C-USA Championship with a 10-4 record.
A native of Alto, Texas, Gamble and his wife Stephanie have a son, Bossley, and two daughters, Madelyn and Maris.
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