Junior Gary Kubiak took over at quarterback for a young Aggie team going into 1981. The Aggies started the year 2-1 with wins over Louisiana Tech and California. Johnny Hector scored a game-winning touchdown in a 24-23 win over Texas Tech. And after a 7-6 win over Houston, A&M was 4-1 on the season. But Baylor defeated the Aggies, 19-17. Kubiak threw six touchdowns — a Southwest Conference record — in a blowout of Rice. But the Aggies dropped three of their final four games — including a 21-13 defeat against Texas. A&M qualified for the Independence Bowl and defeated Oklahoma State, 33-16, to finish 7-5. Kubiak threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns. Despite support from the Houston Aggie Club and school president Frank Vandiver, Tom Wilson was fired in January and replaced with Pittsburgh’s Jackie Sherrill, who received the richest college coaching contract in college football history. "It was my lamentable duty to inform Tom Wilson that his services have been terminated," Vandiver said in the aftermath. "He accepted that decision as the gentleman he is."