The news broke today that the former head coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Kliff Kingsbury, has been hired as the offensive coordinator at USC.
BREAKING: Kliff Kingsbury has agreed to a deal with #USC, per source.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 4, 2018
There had been discussion for about a week that Kingsbury was talking to both USC and the NFL regarding a possible coaching position. Even though the former Texas Tech head coach was expected by most to head for Los Angeles as soon as negotiations with Southern Cal were finalized, a deal had apparently not been reached until today.
That the former Red Raider would be snatched up so quickly after being let go by his alma mater on November 25th was not a shock to anyone.
Rumors circulated that the NFL would come calling, and many thought that Kingsbury, who had a stint as a backup quarterback for the New England Patriots, would head to the professional ranks.
It seems as though the highly sought after offensive guru and quarterbacks coach has decided to stay in the college game for now.
In his time at Texas Tech, Kingsbury’s offenses were perenially in the Top 20 in the nation, and he is best known for having coached current Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes. Aside from Mahomes, multiple other quarterbacks coached by Kingsbury have heard their names called in the NFL Draft.
That will be good news to the Trojans. They struggled offensively in 2018 after having to replace quarterback Sam Darnold, who currently plays for the New York Jets.
Southern Cal found themselves young at this position this year, naming true freshman J.T. Daniels as their starting signal caller.
Though Daniels was a highly rated recruit, he made his share of mistakes, throwing 10 interceptions this season in comparison to 14 touchdowns. USC’s offensive productivity suffered as a result, and the Trojans ended their 2018 campaign 5-7 and missed a bowl game for the first time under head coach Clay Helton.
As a result, Helton fired both his offensive and defensive coordinators. He brings Kingsbury in to resurrect an offense that scored 26.1 points per game last year, good enough for 91st in the FBS.
During his time as a Big 12 head coach, there was always a “Hollywood” quality to Kingsbury’s demeanor that will probably fit right in with the City of Angels. The bigger question is how the Air Raid disciple and former Mike Leach quarterback’s concepts will work at a place like Southern Cal.
The Trojans are known to be very traditional in their offensive philosophy, so it will be interesting to see what Kingsbury’s schemes look like at USC.