Kliff Kingsbury, USC Agree to Contract After Texas Tech Firing

Paul KasabianSenior Contributor

LUBBOCK, TX - NOVEMBER 24: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders on the field before the game against the Baylor Bears on November 24, 2018 at  AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Baylor defeated Texas Tech 35-24. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)
John Weast/Getty Images

Former Texas Tech football head coach Kliff Kingsbury has agreed to join Clay Helton's staff at USC, according to FS1's Bruce Feldman.

USC confirmed the deal Wednesday after Chris Trevino of 247Sports reported Tuesday that USC was set to hire Kingsbury as its new offensive coordinator.

Kingsbury finished 35-40 in six seasons in Lubbock, with his high-water mark an 8-5 campaign and Holiday Bowl victory in 2013.

The Red Raiders then finished under .500 in four of Kingsbury's next five years, including three straight seven-loss campaigns to end his tenure.

A former Texas Tech quarterback primarily under ex-Red Raider and current Washington State head coach Mike Leach, Kingsbury ran the Air Raid offense to near-perfection. Scoring was never a problem, with the team finishing 23rd or better in five of six years.

The Red Raiders struggled on defense, however, as they never ended better than 88th in points allowed in Division I-FBS. They finished fourth-to-last and last, respectively, in 2015 and 2016.

Although defensive struggles prevented Texas Tech from achieving further success, Kingsbury can clearly coach successful offenses (and quarterbacks). He notably has the support of current Kansas City Chiefs superstar signal-caller (and ex-Red Raider) Patrick Mahomes, who played under Kingsbury from 2014-2016:

Patrick Mahomes II @PatrickMahomes5

Thank you @TTUKingsbury for everything you have done for me and Texas Tech University! You believed in me when very few people did and helped me become the quarterback and person i am today!

That's an excellent endorsement given Mahomes' professional success. The fact that Kingsbury had offers just days after his firing, per former Dallas Cowboys Vice President of Personnel Gil Brandt, is as well.

Football is in the midst of a seismic shift, with numerous pro teams implementing aspects of collegiate offenses into their own game plans.

Of note, Adam Teicher of ESPN wrote Oct. 10 about how the Chiefs and New England Patriots were doing so. Kansas City and New England have two of the top-scoring offenses in football.

Therefore, it's no surprise Kingsbury got a role with the Trojans, as this might be a case where everyone has to join the wave of innovative offenses or risk getting left behind.

USC is coming off a disappointing 5-7 season that saw it rank just 91st in FBS scoring, but Kingsbury should be able to provide a significant boost in that area.


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