Kliff Kingsbury Told Cardinals 'He Isn't Going Anywhere' amid Oklahoma Rumors

Adam WellsDecember 1, 2021

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 21: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Arizona Cardinals looks on during the second half against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on November 21, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Kliff Kingsbury has been rumored to be connected with the Oklahoma head-coaching vacancy, but that's not the message he delivered to his current team.

Per Kevin Parrish Jr. of AZCardinals.com, Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons said Wednesday that Kingsbury told them "he isn’t going anywhere."

Cardinals star Kyler Murray did his best to quiet the speculation surrounding his coach on Wednesday.

"I know Kliff. I don't really buy into it," Murray said, Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic. "I think he's got a pretty good job right now."

In the wake of Lincoln Riley leaving the Sooners to take over at USC, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Oklahoma "has targeted" Kingsbury as his potential replacement. 

Schefter noted that Kingsbury has one year remaining after this season on his original deal with the Cardinals that was signed in January 2019. 

Kingsbury's coaching career began in the college ranks. He joined Kevin Sumlin's staff at the University of Houston in 2008 as a quality control coach before being promoted to co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2010. 

After following Sumlin to Texas A&M as offensive coordinator for the 2012 season, Kingsbury was hired by his alma mater, Texas Tech, as head coach in 2013. He went 35-40 with three bowl appearances in six seasons with the Red Raiders. 

USC originally hired Kingsbury as its offensive coordinator in December 2018, but the Cardinals lured him away one month later. The 42-year-old went 13-18-1 in his first two seasons with Arizona. 

Through Week 12 this season, Kingsbury has the Cardinals atop the NFC standings with a 9-2 record. They rank fifth in the NFL in points scored (28.2 per game) despite not having Murray or DeAndre Hopkins for the past three games. 

Arizona hasn't made the playoffs since losing to the Carolina Panthers in the 2015 NFC Championship Game.