Texas Tech has fired coach Kliff Kingsbury, one day after a 35-24 loss to Baylor in Arlington, Texas. The university made the announcement Sunday afternoon following multiple reports that Kingsbury was on his way out.
“I’d like to thank Kliff Kingsbury for his six years of dedication leading our football program,” athletic director Kirby Hocutt said in a statement. “He’s worked very hard and represented us in a first-class manner.”
Kingsbury, a former Red Raiders quarterback from 1998-2002, was 35-40 in six years at the helm of his alma mater, finishing under .500 in each of the last three seasons. He coached Texas Tech in three bowl games, accumulating a 1-2 record.
Through seven games this year, Texas Tech was 5-2, but mounting injuries on both sides of the ball contributed to a five-game slide in October and November. Kingsbury was also on the hot seat this time last year as the Red Raiders entered their final game at 5-6. However, a 27-23 win in Austin against Texas was enough to keep Kingsbury around for one more year.
As rumors of Kingsbury’s job status began to swirl late Saturday, some notable former Texas Tech players took to Twitter to voice their support for Kingsbury.
Kingsbury returned to Lubbock in 2013 as a first-time head coach after being the offensive coordinator for one season at Texas A&M, where he coached Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel. That was part of a meteoric rise for Kingsbury as he also coached under Kevin Sumlin at Houston as an assistant from 2008-11.
Kingsbury’s offenses were usually near the top of the Big 12 with the Red Raiders scoring at least 35 points per game in four of his six seasons. At one point, Kingsbury oversaw three quarterbacks in two years who would be drafted into the NFL: Baker Mayfield, who transferred to Oklahoma after one season, Davis Webb and Patrick Mahomes. Mayfield and Mahomes were first-round picks in the past two NFL drafts with Mayfield going No. 1 overall to the Browns and Mahomes going 10th overall to the Chiefs.
However, Kingsbury’s time in Lubbock was just as notably marred for an absence of defense. The Red Raiders never finished any higher than seventh in the Big 12 in total defense and finished last in 2016. The hiring of defensive coordinator David Gibbs in 2015 brought some consistency and improvement to that side of the ball, but it wasn’t enough win in spite of the offensive struggles through injuries this past year.
Despite his inability to turn a positive corner at his alma mater, Kingsbury is considered one of college football‘s brightest offensive minds and play-callers. As the coaching carousel starts turning, there’s little doubt Kingsbury will have plenty of options for his next stop.
Source : https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/reports-texas-tech-fires-football-coach-kliff-kingsbury-after-three-straight-losing-seasons/