With the head coaching job at Houston officially opening yesterday, all signs pointed to it being a head coaching search that would move fast.
On Saturday we shared, via sources, that Houston was evaluating replacing Major Applewhite and considering bringing back former UH offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen to get things back on track in H-Town.
It is our understanding that Dana has been the focus of this search since before it was officially open, and he remains Houston’s primary target.
With that said, a tweet (below) late last night from Brett McMurphy states that “a lucrative offer” was made to former Texas Tech head coach turned USC offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, but Kingsbury has opted to stay in Southern Cal. Was the reported “lucrative offer” a meeting with Tilman Fertitta and squad from UH followed up by deep negotiations? Or was this just a phone call asking if he was interested in the job? That remains unclear.
Like Holgorsen, Kingsburry also has a history at Houston. It’s where his coaching career got off to a fast start, serving in an offensive quality control role in 2008-09 before being promoted to co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on Kevin Sumlin’s staff in 2010. From there, he followed Sumlin to Texas A&M as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2012, where he mentored Heisman winner Johnny Manziel before taking the Texas Tech job heading into the 2013 season.
While leading the Texas Tech program, Kingsbury’s offenses consistently put up impressive numbers, but his teams struggled on the defensive side of the ball. In six seasons leading his alma mater, Kingsbury was 35-40 before being let go following a 5-7 finish to the 2018 season.
Kingsbury had no shortage of options after departing from Texas Tech, ultimately deciding that getting the USC offense going under Clay Helton was the best fit for him. Kingsbury was officially announced as Helton’s new play caller back on December 5th.
Dana’s buyout drops from $2.5 million today down to $1 million tomorrow…
Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.
USC OC/former Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury has declined “a lucrative offer” to become coach at Houston, source told @WatchStadium. WVU’s Dana Holgorsen is UH’s next target, source said
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) December 31, 2018