The Arizona Cardinals have their man.
They will introduce Kliff Kingsbury as their new head coach tomorrow at the team’s practice facility.
This was a much different coaching search than in years past.
The Cardinals wasted little time in identifying and targeting the coach they wanted. From as soon as the news broke on December 31st about the fact the team would let Steve Wilks go, they knew that Kingsbury would be their guy.
It was all about finding a way to get him to Arizona.
Now, after eight days, the Arizona Cardinals are ready to move forward.
From the team.
The 39-year old Kingsbury spent the past six seasons (2013-18) as the head coach at his alma mater, Texas Tech, and was hired as USC’s offensive coordinator in December. The New Braunfels, TX native is an 11-year coaching veteran who has also worked at Texas A&M (2012) and at the University of Houston (2008-11) where he began his coaching career.
Recognized as one of the profession’s brightest and most-innovative offensive minds, Kingsbury has tutored six future NFL quarterbacks, including first-round selections Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield and Johnny Manziel as well as Case Keenum, Davis Webb and Nic Shimonek. Under Kingsbury’s guidance, Mahomes (2016) and Keenum (2009, ’11) both led the nation in passing.
Some of the highlights from Kingsbury’s coaching career follow below:
- While at Texas Tech, Kingsbury served as the play-caller for one of the college football’s most explosive and productive offenses. The Red Raiders featured a passing attack that ranked in the top-10 in the country in all six seasons of his tenure, ranked in the top-20 nationally for total offense in all six seasons and finished in the top-25 in scoring five times.
- Under Kingsbury, Texas Tech averaged at least 30 points per game, 470 total yards per game and 300 passing yards per game in all six seasons. The Red Raiders averaged over 500 yards of offense in four seasons and over 450 passing yards twice. They also averaged at least 140 rushing yards per game four times in six seasons under Kingsbury and averaged more than 40 points per game twice.
- At both Houston (2011) and Texas Tech (2016) Kingsbury’s offenses led the nation in total offense and passing offense.
- Patrick Mahomes spent two full seasons (2015-16) as the starter at Texas Tech under Kingsbury and in those two years the Red Raiders finished #1 (2016) and #2 (2015) in the nation in total offense while Mahomes threw for a combined 9,705 yards and 77 TDs in 25 starts.
- As a sophomore in 2015, Mahomes became the youngest quarterback in NCAA history to amass 5,000 yards of total offense. He eclipsed the 5,000-yard mark again in 2016, becoming just the third quarterback ever to record 5,000+ yards of total offense in back-to-back seasons.
- Dating back to his first offensive coordinator job at Houston in 2011, a Kingsbury-led offense never finished outside the top-20 in the nation in total offense and never finished outside the top-15 in passing offense.
- In 2016, Texas Tech led the nation in total offense (566.6 ypg) and passing offense (463.0 ypg) while finishing #5 in scoring (43.7 ppg). It was the sixth consecutive season a Kingsbury-led unit finished in the top-10 in total offense dating back to his time at both Houston and Texas A&M.
- In 2015, the Red Raiders finished #2 in the nation in total offense (579.5 ypg), #2 in scoring offense (45.1 ppg) and had the nation’s second ranked passing offense (388.2 ypg). The 45.1 points per game average established a school single-season record and Texas Tech was one of just two schools in the nation to score at least 25 points in every game. The Red Raiders featured a 4,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard receiver and a 1,000-yard rusher for the first time in school history.
- In his only two seasons as an offensive coordinator (2011-Houston; 2012-Texas A&M), Kingsbury was named Offensive Coordinator of the Year both years by FootballScoop.com.
- During his lone season at Texas A&M (2012), Kingsbury mentored Johnny Manziel, who became the first freshman ever to win the Heisman Trophy.
- With Kingsbury serving as co-offensive coordinator in 2011, Houston led the nation in total offense (599.1 ypg), passing offense (450.1 ypg) and scoring (49.3 ppg) as quarterback Case Keenum finished his collegiate career as the most prolific passer in NCAA FBS history.
While at Texas Tech, Kingsbury also helped running back DeAndre Washington to back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons (2014-15), becoming the first Red Raider to accomplish that feat since 1995-96. Wide receiver Jakeem Grant set the school career receiving yardage record (3,164 yards), breaking the previous mark held by two-time Biletnikoff Award winner Michael Crabtree.
Kingsbury spent the 2012 season at Texas A&M as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach working under current University of Arizona head coach Kevin Sumlin. Texas A&M finished third nationally in total offense (558.5 ypg) with an attack that finished 13th nationally in rushing (242.1 ypg) and 14th in passing (316.5 ypg). The Aggies beat #1 Alabama on the road and #11 Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl.
He began his coaching career at the University of Houston under Sumlin as the offensive quality control coach (2008-09) prior to being elevated to quarterbacks coach (2010) and then was named co-offensive coordinator in 2011.