Missouri football is expected to hire yet another assistant with ties to head coach Eliah Drinkwitz.

Curtis Luper, currently the co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach at TCU, is primed to make the move to Columbia. Luper has been on the Horned Frogs' staff since 2013, originally coaching wide receivers.

Luper was promoted to co-offensive coordinator in 2017 under longtime head coach Gary Patterson.

Luper served as running backs coach at Auburn from 2009-12, overlapping with Drinkwitz's time there as a quality control assistant.

Missouri has not officially announced the hire, but the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Luper confirmed the move Wednesday evening.

Earlier Wednesday, one of Luper’s sons, Chance Luper, announced on social media that he had been offered a scholarship by Missouri. Chance is a three-star wide receiver from North Richland Hills, Texas, who previously committed to Boise State.

Chance Luper did not sign his letter of intent with the Broncos on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period.

Curtis Luper has also coached at Oklahoma State and New Mexico. In 2011, he was named by ESPN as one of the best recruiters in the Southeastern Conference.

Upon arriving at Missouri, Luper would join TCU transfer quarterback Shawn Robinson in Columbia.

Robinson played in 14 games for the Horned Frogs during the 2017 and 2018 seasons before transferring to MU last January. Robinson sat out the 2019 season due to NCAA regulations.

Gibbs retained

Missouri officially announced Thursday that Drinkwitz will retain David Gibbs on his coaching staff.

Gibbs served as the Tigers' defensive backs coach in 2019 and spent the previous four seasons as defensive coordinator at Texas Tech.

“Coach Gibbs is a great fit for our defensive staff,” Drinkwitz said in a statement. “He’s well respected within the profession as a developer of talent and he’s got invaluable experience at both the collegiate and NFL levels.

“I’m excited about his expertise and how he can help shape the philosophy within our defensive staff. I’m pleased to have he and (his wife) Debbie and their family be part of our program.”

Gibbs spent nine seasons as an NFL defensive backs coach with the Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos.

He is the third member of former head coach Barry Odom’s staff to be retained at Missouri, alongside assistant head coach Brick Haley and defensive coordinator Ryan Walters.

“I’m excited to be part of coach Drink’s staff at Mizzou. It’s a great opportunity for me and my family,” Gibbs said. “I’m looking forward to continuing to work with coach Walters. We did some good things here defensively last season and we’ve got a great group of kids coming back who are excited to work hard to improve this program.”

After a shaky 2018, Missouri cornerbacks performed at a higher level this past season under Gibbs’ leadership.

In 2019, the MU defense ranked top-20 nationally in pass defense (eighth), total defense (14th) and scoring defense (17th).

Recruiting rankings

Ten high school seniors signed with Missouri on Wednesday, with four-star wide receiver JJ Hester the highest-rated prospect.

The Tigers’ recruiting class is ranked by the 247Sports composite as 81st in the FBS and last among the 14 SEC programs.

Missouri's recruiting class a year ago was 37th in the nation and 13th in the SEC.

eblum@columbiatribune.com