"Maybe part of loving is learning to let go." - The Wonder Years
Over the weekend, shocking news dropped that Tommy Tuberville was leaving Texas Tech for Cincinnati. Meanwhile, Kliff Kingsbury was in New York accompanying Kevin Sumlin and Johnny Manziel for the Heisman festivities. One can only surmise that Koach Kliff was ordering bottle service at some posh club flanked by 10s when his phone started blowing up with the news out of Lubbock.
Kingsbury was on Tech's shortlist along with Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris and Baylor head coach Art Briles. Most of the noise coming from the Tech fan base was clamoring for Kingsbury, and late Wednesday afternoon, Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt appeased the masses.
From Tech's standpoint, the hire is high-risk but potentially very high reward. Kliff Kingsbury is only 33 years old making him the second youngest coach in FBS football just mere months behind Toledo's Matt Campbell. The Texas Tech administration has been a mess for several years since the Leach debacle leaving a fan base fractured and split. They endured a coaching tenure in Tuberville who never really wanted to be there and seemed like a bad fit from the start. Hocutt needed a strong hire that would invigorate the Tech faithful. In Kingsbury, he's getting a young, fresh, charismatic football workaholic that loves and understands Texas Tech University.
The risk in the hire is that Kliff Kingsbury isn't very seasoned. He was playing professional football as recently as 2008 before joining Sumlin's staff at the University of Houston. This is his first shot as the head man, but despite his youth, Kliff Kingsbury has spent time around some of the very best minds in football such as Mike Leach, Dana Holgorsen, Kevin Sumlin, Bill Belichick, and Mike McCarthy.
It is tough to imagine this being an easy decision for Kingsbury. He is leaving a program riding a huge wave of momentum littered with an embarrassment of offensive talent poised to compete for conference and national titles in the near future. Oh, and the prospect of being the offensive coordinator for a quarterback with three years of eligibility remaining and a Heisman Trophy had to be alluring. Yet as college football fans, we understand the pull of returning to your beloved university for the opportunity of a lifetime. Timing is often fickle in coaching, and there were no guarantees this opportunity would present itself to Kingsbury again in the near future.
On the surface, this looks to be a great hire for Tech. The A&M program now has to sift through what should be scores of resumes of guys looking to hitch their wagon to Sumlin, this record-setting offense, and yes, Johnny. Aggie fans, if you need to worry (your favorite hobby), start worrying about hanging on to defensive coordinator Mark Snyder.
Until then, Good Bull Hunting wishes you all the best, Kliff. You gave us some of the best material around and you're also a helluva coach. You've broken thousands of Aggie coeds' hearts, but we'd like to view this as an amicable split.
I'll especially miss the wayfarers.