Despite entering his fourth year on the current coaching staff at Texas Tech, collegiate and professional coaching veteran Carlos Mainord begins his 13th season on the South Plains, dating back to 1968.
Mainord is currently in his fourth tour of duty at Texas Tech, a service he began as a graduate assistant 39 years ago and continued for two years in the 1980s and six years in the late `80s and early `90s, before assuming his position on the current staff in 2004.
The first two years back at Texas Tech reflected Mainord's experience and coaching style as he was responsible for the development and meteoric rise of All-American safety Dwayne Slay. Spending much of the 2004 season in a backup role, Slay matured quickly under Mainord's tutelage and developed into one of the nation's most productive and fierce safeties the following season. Slay became an overnight sensation with his jaw-dropping hits and earned national honors as well as Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year accolades.
In the same season, Vincent Meeks was lauded with all-conference honors after grabbing three interceptions and finishing his career as one of the top safeties in school history.
Safeties Darcel McBath and Joe Garcia took over the secondary last season. The duo grabbed four of the team's 11 interceptions, including a team-leading three by McBath. The pair also finished second and third, respectively, in tackles
The Red Raider secondary has continually improved each of the last three seasons. The unit consistently ranks among the top 30 nationally, and has been as high as the top 10 in each of the last two seasons.
Mainord's resume is extensive and his coaching stops are impressive. Before receiving the call from defensive coordinator Lyle Setencich to join the current staff, Mainord was fresh off of 10 seasons as a secondary coach in the NFL. He began his professional career with the Chicago Bears in 1993 and worked with the franchise through 1998, moving on to the New Orleans Saints in 1999. Following a year in the Crescent City, Mainord was teh secondary coach for the Carolina Panthers for two seasons and the St. Louis Rams for a year.
Prior to coaching in the NFL, Mainord spent 27 years as a coach in the collegiate ranks, including six years as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator under at Texas Tech under Spike Dykes during the 1987-92 seasons. Former Texas Tech All-America Tracy Saul was one of Mainord's pupils and still holds the school record with 25 career interceptions. Saul picked eight each in the 1989 and 1991 seasons and finished his career among Tech's top 10 with 327 tackles.
Mainord spent the 1986 season on Jimmie Johnson's staff at Miami as the secondary coach, where he was instrumental in Bennie Blades garnering consensus All-America honors and leading the nation in interceptions. The junior still holds Miami records with 19 career picks. Additionally, the Hurricanes faced Penn State in the Fiesta Bowl that season for the national championships.
Mainord began his coaching career at McMurry College in 1966 as linebackers coach, before moving on to Texas Tech in 1968 as a graduate assistant. A year later, he moved to Ranger Junior College as secondary coach and was named head coach in 1972. Mainord capped his six seasons at the school with 7-2-1 and 9-1 records, including a top 10 ranking. In 1978, he moved to Rice as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator, and returned to Texas Tech in 1984, leading the Red Raiders' NCAA-leading pass defense in 1984. The unit was second in 1985. Tech defensive back Carl Carter received honorable mention All-America honors in 1985.
Mainord was an All-American linebacker at McMurry College, after starting his collegiate playing career at Navarro Junior College. A native of Greenville, Texas, Mainord and his wife, Judy, have four sons: Matt, Mark, Tommy and Cody; and a daughter, Cari.