Special to RattleandHumSports.com

Big 12 ConferenceESPN.com is reporting that Texas Tech has hired former quarterback Kliff Kingsbury as its new coach, the school announced Wednesday.

Kingsbury, 33, was Texas A&M’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He instructed Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel this season.

Kingsbury was co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Houston and record-breaking QB Case Keenum in 2010-11.

He threw 95 touchdowns for Texas Tech between 1998-2002.

He has been mentored by successful coaches such as Dana Holgorsen and Kevin Sumlin, who had stressed Kingbury’s organization and intelligence despite his inexperience.

The Texas Tech job came open when Tommy Tuberville left in stunning fashion this past Saturday, ending his three-year tenure in Lubbock to become Cincinnati’s coach.

Kingsbury was drafted by the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL Draft and appeared in one game for the New York Jets in 2005.



Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt needed to have healing a part of this hire. He looked at a fractured fan base and had to have someone who would bring the Red Raider family back together. Three years after the controversial dismissal of Mike Leach followed by the turbulent era of Tommy Tuberville – whoever followed Leach was in a no-win situation – Hocutt lured the hometown hero in Kliff Kingsbury.

It’s a sensible and popular hire.

While he had ties to Tech, there was no way Baylor coach Art Briles would leave the stability in Waco for the uncertainty of Lubbock. Having said that, it’s hard to know what the 33-year-old former Tech star quarterback and now former Texas A&M offensive coordinator will offer. With only five years of college coaching experience, this is a big challenge since this is his first job, so Kingsbury will have to surround himself with the right staff in order to recruit well and make sure that Texas Tech will remain competitive as soon as possible.

He should run an up tempo spread offense that Tech fans will love. He had a great one-year run at A&M under Kevin Sumlin working with Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, who was second in the nation in total offense at 383 yards per game. A&M’s offense averaged 552 yards per game, good for third in the nation. But Kingsbury will be starting over at that position in 2013. Redshirt freshman Michael Brewer, who threw only 47 passes behind Seth Doege, is the presumed starter.

The immediate goal is to make sure the Tech 2013 recruiting class – there have already been a couple of de-commitments – stays together and that some additions can be made. What should be interesting is the defense. Tech went through its fourth defensive coordinator in as many years with Art Kaufman. Kingsbury will have to decide whether he wants his own voice or whether he’s comfortable with Kaufman. Tech fans should be happy. Only time will tell if Hocutt made the right call.