Make no mistake about it, Kliff Kingsbury is the Pied Piper of the modern era of Texas Tech football history. The man who got the Air Raid attack off the ground under Mike Leach and helped establish Texas Tech’s identity, Kingsbury returns to his alma mater to unite the fan base, settle a shaky four-year period and lead the Red Raiders’ program for the foreseeable future.
“When I got into coaching I went to the University of Houston, that was a business decision, went I went to that other university, that was definitely a business decision, but being here now – this is personal to me,” said Kingsbury. “I’m going on record that I actually enjoy the wind. You’ll never hear me complain about it.”
If you saw the outpouring of support for Kingsbury’s hiring from Red Raiders players, current and former and future alike, you’ll know Texas Tech has hired someone with near unanimous approval. The Texas Tech athletic department approves, as the school received $18,000 donations and 500 season-ticket deposits within hours of Kingsbury’s hiring.
With Kingsbury, 33, and athletic director Kirby Hocutt, 40, Texas Tech has two young, smart, energetic Texas natives to lead its athletic department in its quest to take the next step in the Big 12 and national picture.
“I’m going to bring in some former players, some people that care about this university. I believe in players not plays,” said Kingsbury. “We’re going to be attacking on both sides of the ball. The kids are going to have fun, they’re going to have swagger.”
Kingsbury displayed his own brand of swagger on Friday morning, turning to Hocutt and asking “if there’s any way we can get Cincinnati on the schedule next year.”
As a favorite son of Leach’s Air Raid offense, Kingsbury was asked what brand of attack he will employ in Lubbock. “It’ll be different. We’ll adapt to the personnel we have and play to our strengths. At Houston we led the nation in passing, this year we led the SEC in rushing.”
Kingsbury has not yet hired a defensive coordinator but said he will soon. He will make a reported $2 million per year.
At the end of the 20-minute press conference, Kingsbury stated the opportunity presented to him at Texas Tech is, “to get back to this place and try to make it great, which is what it deserves, means the world to me.”