Late last night, Kliff Kingsbury was told the best news he’s heard all year. Following a hard-fought, 27-23 win over Texas in Austin, Kingsbury was told by The Athletic’s Max Olson that Kirby Hocutt had announced that Kingsbury’s job was safe for another year. Kliff, having not yet heard the news (he was later told by Hocutt directly), had this to say, via Olson’s twitter:
“That’s great news. He knows this is where I want to be. I understand 6-6 isn’t what we want to be, but that’s a great way to finish.”
After an impressive 4-1 start to the season, including a near victory over a then undefeated Oklahoma State team, Kingsbury looked to firmly off the hot seat, but Texas Tech quickly rattled off four straight losses, though still found a way to head into the final weekend with a chance at getting bowl eligible against Texas.
The Red Raiders did just that, and while it’s hard to imagine one win saving a job, last night’s win did just that, as from what I’ve been told, Kingsbury would’ve been fired had Tech not gotten bowl eligible.
The upcoming bowl berth will be the third in Kingsbury’s five-year tenure, and the first since a blowout loss to LSU in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in 2015. The Red Raiders are 30-32 in five years under Kingsbury.
Kingsbury is set to make around $3.75 million next season, and his buyout will drop from $2.75 million to $2.25 million (Newsday).