Kliff Kingsbury spent four seasons etching his name in the Texas Tech record books. He finished his career in Lubbock with nearly 13,000 passing yards and 95 touchdowns. His resume as a college football assistant is just as impressive as his play on the field during his time with the Red Raiders. After being the quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator for the record-breaking Case Keenum at Houston, Kingsbury spent this past season with Texas A&M helping Johnny Manziel win the Heisman Trophy. Now, after just five seasons as a college football assistant coach, Kingsbury is going back to Lubbock where his college football career got started. Only this time Kingsbury is returning as the Red Raiders head coach.
Kliff Kingsbury joined KGOW in Houston with Clanton and Wessling to talk about how crazy the last few weeks have been for him, what it means to be back coaching at Texas Tech where he played his college ball, on the recruiting in Texas and how much Texas A&M benefited from being in the SEC, how much the success of Johnny Manziel will help him when it comes to recruiting quarterbacks and whether it has hit him that he will be the head coach at Texas Tech.
How crazy the last few weeks have been for him:
“It’s been a whirlwind. I was up in New York with Johnny for the Heisman and the phone starting ringing that Saturday when everything happened out here in Lubbock and it has just been crazy ever since. What a remarkable year and I couldn’t have been prouder of the team at Texas A&M and so excited to be back home here at Texas Tech.”
What it means to be coaching at Texas Tech:
“It means everything to me. It’s one of those deals where while our games were going on I always paid attention to the Texas Tech score. This is the place that helped shape me as a man and a person and just to get the opportunity to come back here and be the head coach, it’s just awesome for me.”
On the recruiting in Texas and how much Texas A&M benefited from being in the SEC:
“It’s been great for Texas A&M and having been there recently and seeing how well they’re doing in recruiting, it just differentiated them from the state so they did a really good job of capitalizing on that and I think Texas is such a hotbed for recruits and there’s plenty of great players in the state and at Texas Tech we have to take advantage of that and really hit the state hard and get some of those good players out this way.”
How much Johnny Manziel’s success will play into his ability to recruit quarterbacks:
“That’s been huge and the year before having Case Keenum, the all-time record holder with every passing record in the history of major college football, I think it shows what this offense can do if you work at it and you believe in it and you attack it. Who would’ve known that Johnny would have the kind of year that he did. He’s a tremendous player, a great competitor and he really added some dimensions to this offense which I didn’t even know it had so if we can continue to grow and evolve the sky is the limit and I’m very excited about it.”
Ok so you just have to find another Johnny Manziel:
“There’s only one of those ever created in the world I think. I’ve never seen anything like him. I’m sure he’s just going to continue to get better.”
Whether it has hit him that he is the Texas Tech head coach:
“It hasn’t. I think I’ve been too busy to think about it. Trying to get the staff together and hang on to these recruits and recruit more kids. It’s just happened so fast and like I said just thrilled to be here. It was tough to leave those kids at Texas A&M but this is where I wanted to be and where I’m meant to be. Just fired up for this opportunity.”
Whether he will be on the sideline for Texas Tech’s bowl game:
“I won’t be on the sideline. I will be at the game but these coaches here have done a great job and they’re going to coach out the game. I think it’s a classic Big 12-Big 10 matchup. You have the speed and the spread of Texas Tech and the Big Ten power football of Minnesota. I think it will be exciting for the fans and it will be a great atmosphere in there and should be a bunch of people showing up to watch it so I expect a great game.”