The Big 12‘s only new head coach for the 2013 season, Kliff Kingsbury, has brought excitement back to the South Plains of Texas. The former quarterback under both Spike Dykes and Mike Leach has come back to his alma mater for his first head coaching gig and has the fan base united for the first time in years.
Kingsbury has moved up the coaching ranks very quickly since 2008, when he joined the Houston Cougars coaching staff as a quality control assistant. He then began calling plays as the co-offensive coordinator during the 2010 season and helped the Cougars lead the nation in total yards and points scored under prolific quarterback Case Keenum.
Kingsbury then followed the Cougars head coach Kevin Sumlin to Texas A&M where he spotted eventual Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel and helped lead the Aggies to an 11-2 season. On Dec. 12, 2012, Texas Tech named Kingsbury their head coach after former coach Tommy Tuberville left the team for the job at Cincinnati.
After being hired, Kingsbury brought in familiar faces to the Texas Tech coaching staff. He added former players, which include linebacker (2000-04) Mike Smith, inside receiver (2004-08) Eric Morris, wide receiver (2000-04) Trey Haverty and cornerback (1998-2001) Kevin Curtis. He also added defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt, who coached at Texas A&M with Kingsbury in 2012.
The 33-year-old is the second youngest head coach in college football and the youngest head coach of a team in an automatic qualifying conference. Despite his age, Kingsbury has experience at every level of football and with many coaches and players across the country. He is the son of Tim Kingsbury, the former head coach of New Braunfuls High School in New Braunfuls, Texas. After his career at Texas Tech he was drafted by the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL draft and played under Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Bellichick for two years.
Kingsbury will inherit a talented Texas Tech squad for the 2013 season with many offensive weapons. There will almost inevitably be a learning curve for a young and somewhat inexperienced coaching staff, but the energy around campus is electric and the fan base is excited for a new era of Texas Tech football.