Generation Y’s X’s and O’s

The meteoric rise of Texas Tech’s Kliff Kingsbury, the second-youngest head coach in the country and probably the most dashing.
Photograph by Artie Limmer

JASON COHEN: At the University of Houston, you went from being an underpaid “quality control” assistant to being offensive coordinator in two seasons. Now, after just a few years as a coordinator at U of H and Texas A&M, you’ve got the top job at Texas Tech, making you, at 33, the second-youngest head coach in the country. Were you sure you were ready?

KLIFF KINGSBURY: I didn’t really think about it too much. It was such a great opportunity. The years of playing and learning different offenses and being around great coaches and then being fortunate enough to work under Coach [Kevin] Sumlin [at U of H and A&M] really prepared me for pretty much any situation in this profession.

JC: On the same day that Johnny Manziel was in New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation, former Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville resigned. You’d played quarterback at Tech under his predecessor, Mike Leach, so immediately, people on Twitter started nominating you for the job. What do you remember about that day?

KK: We were all up there for Johnny’s Heisman, and I had a nice New York weekend planned. As soon as [Tuberville’s resignation] happened, the phone started ringing, and it just escalated from there. I knew that if that job ever came open I’d be very interested. I had a pretty good gig going there in College Station with that quarterback coming back and that team coming back, so I wouldn’t have left for just any job. This was the one.

JC: You were recruited by Spike Dykes, but your Tech roots literally go back to infancy. Chancellor Kent Hance employed your uncle when he was in the Texas Senate. Is there a picture of you as a baby with a Tech rattle?

KK: No, no, none of that. But the one football camp I always went to was Texas Tech growing up, and it’s just funny how it all worked out.

JC: Your first game as a starter way back when was Texas Tech’s win over Oklahoma, which was also Dykes’s final game. You’ve said that it remains your favorite game. Did it not

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