Scouting the Texas Tech Football Coaching Candidates: Kliff Kingsbury (Don’t Forget His Sunglasses Too)
By the end of the week, Texas Tech could be announcing the hiring of a new head football coach to replace Tommy Tuberville. One of the most talked about candidates is former Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury. Kingsbury is currently the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M and has worked with Kevin Sumlin at both Texas A&M and the University of Houston.
Kingsbury is the "old-man" of the Texas Tech Air Raid quarterbacks. He first played in 1999 for Spike Dykes and then ushered in the Air Raid-era in 2000 for Mike Leach. I think his experience with both spectra of offense (run-focused under Dykes, heavy pass under Leach and then Sumlin) gives him one of the most unique perspectives in college football.
I remember the buzz that Kingsbury generated in Lubbock at the end of the 1999 season. Rob Peters was banged up and Spike Dykes was nearing the end of his coaching career. For weeks, fans were talking about Kingsbury eager to see what 'the freshman' could do. Well, Kingsbury was given the start on Senior Day against Oklahoma and he didn't disappoint. He led the Red Raiders to a 38-28 win over OU at Jones Stadium. Then he had three prolific seasons under Mike Leach growing the Air Raid to a force to be reckoned with in the Big 12.
One of the major advantages to a Kingsbury hire is that he is a former Tech player and can reunite a fractured fanbase. His work with quarterbacks Case Keenum and the Heisman Trophy-winning Johnny Manziel can't be underestimated either. Could you imagine Michael Brewer learning from one of the 'masters' of the Air Raid?
Many people connected with Texas Tech would love to see Kingsbury hired. I don't blame them. If Kingsbury is hired as Texas Tech's head coach, Kirby Hocutt (Texas Tech Athletic Director) needs to give Kingsbury the ability to find experienced (ie: higher-priced) defensive assistants. Let Kingsbury work on the offense and learn game management while the defense is left in "capable hands".
One of the 'cons' with a Kliff Kingsbury hire is no prior head coaching experience. While that can be a disadvantage, prior history (Mike Leach) has already shown Texas Tech fans what a coordinator can do with his first head coaching job.
As far as the sunglasses go, many have noted Kingsbury wearing Ray-Ban or Oakley sunglasses on the sidelines. In the picture of Kingsbury at the beginning of this column, Kingsbury is wearing Oakley Frogskins (pictured, right). They can be bought online and I'd imagine that the student section would be wearing them en masse if Kingsbury is brought to Tech.
I am firmly in the Kliff Kingsbury-camp. It would be shame if he became a head coach somewhere other than Texas Tech.
1340 The Fan's Allen Corbin will be scouting Chad Morris in a future column