<span style=""><span>Gary Gibbs was relieved of his duties as the New Orleans Saints' defensive coordinator, it was announced by the club today.
The graduate of the University of Oklahoma recently concluded his third season with the Saints as defensive coordinator and seventh year in the NFL. In 2006, Gibbs's first season directing the defense, the Saints' defense allowed 76 fewer points than they had the previous season and helped spur the team onto an appearance in the 2007 NFC Championship game against the Chicago Bears.
"This was a very difficult decision to make," said Saints Head Coach Sean Payton. "Gary Gibbs is a fine man and football coach who has worked diligently during his tenure with the Saints. I thank him for the many contributions that he has made to this team and wish for continued success in his career."
Gibbs, 56, joined the Saints after a four-year stint as the linebackers coach of the Dallas Cowboys, where he served on the same staff as Payton from 2003-05.
Gibbs joined the Cowboys following consecutive one-year stints as the defensive coordinator at LSU (2001) and the University of Georgia (2000). During his lone season in Baton Rouge, the Tigers compiled a 10-3 record, took the SEC title and won the Nokia Sugar Bowl. LSU ranked 21st nationally against the run and led the SEC with 18 interceptions. In his year at Georgia, the Bulldogs ranked 19th in the nation in total defense and 12th in scoring defense by allowing just 18 points per game.
Gibbs spent 23 years at the University of Oklahoma as a player, assistant and head coach. During that time, the Sooners played in 16 bowl games and won three national titles. In his six seasons as the head coach (1989-94), Gibbs guided the Sooners to three bowl games and an overall record of 44-23-2.