There are certain places in college football where the mere mention of the program brings to mind an offensive identity.
Texas Tech is one of those places where it's impossible to conjure up thoughts of the Red Raiders without also thinking of the Air Raid roots of Mike Leach, and later Kliff Kingsbury.
So when Joey McGuire was named the new leader of the program, the former Texas high school coach had an important hire to make when it came to who to hand the offense to.
That process led him to Western Kentucky offensive coordinator Zach Kittley, who made an incredible jump from 115th to 2nd nationally in scoring in his first season calling the offensive shots, setting all kinds of single-season passing records along the way.
At Big 12 Media Days earlier today, McGuire laid out the moment in the interview process where he knew he had found his guy.
"Where I fell in love with him is, we've been talking a lot over the last couple of years, and in the interview, he said 'Coach, I'm going to find our best 11 players, I'm going to get them on the field, and we're going to score a lot of points.'"
"When I talked to him, one of the things about Kittley is he'll say 'we have Air Raid concepts, but we are not a true Air Raid
That's when McGuire knew Kittley was the guy for the job.
McGuire went on to share that at Western Kentucky, Kittley had four really good receivers, so they played in a lot of 10 personnel sets. Now, in Lubbock, they've got three really good tight ends so things may look a bit different, and as a defensive minded coach, McGuire believes in complimentary football.
There is a lot of excitement in the air around Lubbock, starting with the hire of McGuire and earlier this week the Red Raiders announced that they've got $200 million raised for the largest football facility in college football.
Kittley's plan for the offense is another reason to be excited about the direction in Lubbock. At just 30 years old, he's undoubtedly one of the rising stars in the coaching profession.