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12/13/2012

Red Raiders should embrace the Northwestern approach to its new coach

Uspw_6757212_crop_exactA few days after Tommy Tuberville spit on Texas Tech by leaving for Cincinnati and the Conference USA (aka the Big East) the Red Raiders may have solved their West Texas issues by hiring 14-year-old Kliff Kingsbury.

(BTW - The 14-year-old comment is a joke. He is a bit young.)

Great hire, provided he can bring Johnny Manziel, Luke Joekel and some of the other players who executed his offense at Texas A&M so well this season.

The good people at Texas Tech did not want to bring in someone who did not understand, or not like, the West Texas culture. It’s a good place, but it’s not for everybody. Tuberville was never crazy about the lifestyle out in the greater Lubbock, tri-state area.

Having played there in college, Kingsburgy (33) knows Texas Tech as well as any coaching candidate ever could. Now all he needs is time, which these days in college football is about five or six games before it's collectively decided he stinks. For instance, if the Red Raiders are 7-0 in Tech’s first five games (not a misprint), Kingsbury should be fine.

Patfitzgerald2The Red Raiders need to use the same timeline that Northwestern used for Pat Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald was a linebacker for the Wildcats, and was given the head coaching job at Northwestern in the summer of 2006. He was just 31 when he received the promotion after the tragic death of coach Randy Walker.

Fitzgerald understood Northwestern, and its challenges.

In his first season NU was 4-8. Today the case can be made he is one of the best coaches in the Big 10. The Wildcats are 49-39 under Fitzgerald in seven seasons; they have reached five straight bowl games, and finished 9-3 this season.

NU had to give Fitzgerald time, and in showing some patience they have a coach who has a team with major recruiting disadvantages (i.e. academic entrance requirements) that competes in the Big 10 very well. By giving him a chance at such a young age and showing some patience they probably also have a coach who will stay with a coaching job most of his predecessors could not get out of fast enough.

Kingsbury is going to have something to work with because Tuberville and his staff had assembled some decent recruiting classes. But Kingsbury has never been a head coach before and he is going to need some time to get used to this gig.

By rolling the dice on someone so young, but someone who understands Texas Tech, the Red Raiders have someone who potentially could be there for a loooong time.

It would, however, really help if he could just bring Johnny Football with him.

 

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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Comments

Kasey Gioni from West Texas

From a logic and marketing stand point this was a good hire. I agree that a guy 'like this' will need time. I think more and more college programs are looking internally for coaching canidates like this. A splashy big name is nice but not always the cure. Time will tell if he is the 'right guy'... a good x and o's guy, promoter, recruiter and good influence on young guys. But I am hopeful. Good article.

Brian Johnson

Wow....14 years old you say? This cat must be a kid genius.

Sean Ramsay

"by hiring 14-year-old Kliff Kingsbury...". 14 years old? They hired a 14-year-old?

DavidPwrMc

Kliff Kingsbury is only 14 years old?

Check your first paragraph...looks like a typo or Texas Tech will be in violation of child labor laws! ;)

- David (oops) PwrMc

KevNYC

14 years old?

Bob

I read the first paragraph on Google News and was intrigued at the idea of a fourteen-year-old coach.
Nope, just poor typing and editing on the Star-Telegram's part.
Proofreading goes a long way, folks.

Tech Fan

I agree with Kasey. He was the right hire but who knows if he can really get it done. Tech fans have long since become accustomed to thinking they can be competitive in big time football. This guy is NOT big time football. But I am optimistic. I will try and not concern myself with Tech's record his first year. I want to see what he does with kids on the field and who he can get to committ to Tech. If he can recruit and be a good leader we should do okay.

Billy Blackmon

14 years old and 7 and 0 after 5 games. Outdadgum standing. You write more like you than you do. I wish more writers could paint the picture with words as well.

Jason Croncowski

"the Red Raiders may have solved their West Texas issues by hiring 14-year-old Kliff Kingsbury."

Kinda young don't you think?

Katie

Breaking news: commenters don't understand jokes. And no, you can't have Johnny Football.

All In

The guy can coach. I'm thrilled about this hire. It seems like the first hire in years that have not been a total circus. I've never bought season tickets. I'm buying season tickets.

Aggie fan

Hilarious blog!
Right on!

Justin

Only other acceptable way to go would have been Sonny Dykes and he was just hired by Cal. Congrats Kliff! I'll be rooting for you.

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