Kliff Kingsbury: Texas Tech Makes Brilliant Decision to Hire Texas A&M Assistant

Alex Kay@AlexPKayCorrespondent IDecember 13, 2012

Oct 20, 2012; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury coaches against the LSU Tigers in the first quarter at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Tech Red Raiders have reportedly hired former Texas A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury to fill their head coaching vacancy, according to the Associated Press (via DallasNews.com).

It’s a great hire on a number of levels, and the Red Raiders are sure to be a competitive football program in the Big 12 with Kingsbury at the helm. They were fortunate to get such a promising young talent to fill the position, especially on such short notice.

If you haven’t heard, former TTU coach Tommy Tuberville reportedly left in the middle of a dinner with potential Red Raiders recruits to accept the Cincinnati job this past weekend. His defection blindsided school officials, who fortunately knew just where to turn.

Kingsbury played quarterback for the Red Raiders from 1998-2002, piling up huge numbers and garnering big wins before getting into coaching following an unsuccessful pro career in 2008.

The San Antonio native got his first job as an assistant for the Houston Cougars, before moving up to co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2010, helping groom then-QB Case Keenum into an absolute stud under center.

After the 2011 season, Kingsbury jumped ship—along with then-Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin—to the Aggies. The HC/OC duo helped the team to a 10-2 record in its first season of SEC play, and their high-powered attack led to more than 550 yards per game of offense.

It also produced a Heisman-winning QB in freshman Johnny Manziel, the first freshman to ever achieve the honor. Kingsbury was directly involved in the success of Johnny Football, and the young coach’s tutelage will be greatly appreciated at his alma mater.

While some would argue that the age of the 33-year-old Kingsbury is going to hurt his ability as a head coach, we believe his youth is a major asset to an upstart program like TTU.

He can relate to the players more closely—just a decade removed from his own career at the university—and isn’t afraid to try new things and fail.

His “Air Raid” style offensive attack was never supposed to work in the SEC, but he tried it anyway and found it was possible to win in a defensive conference with it. Now that the system, and the coach, are coming home to Texas Tech, the Red Raiders are sure to be a force in 2013.