It had to be Kliff. It just had to be him.
I am, by nature, a defeatist. I don’t like getting my hopes up only to have them dashed. Don’t ask me how I ever asked my wife to marry me. I was feeling the same way with this coaching search. I really did trust that athletic director Kirby Hocutt was going to go through the right process. He interviewed at least two people in Texas A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury and Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris. He may have talked to more. He needed to do those interviews to make sure that Kingsbury was the right guy despite the crowd standing outside the gates clamoring for Kingsbury.
I am thankful the process happened and I am thankful the process has been completed.
I don’t really know that Kingsbury needs any introduction. Normally, that’s what this post would be when a coach is hired. But I don’t think there’s any reason to do that. We will talk about Kingbury’s offense, in great detail, later in the spring and summer. We have time.
When I opened up the laptop on Saturday I was stunned. I had just read that Tommy Tuberville had left Texas Tech to be the new head coach of Cincinnati. I wasn’t sure what to think because I didn’t know what was going to happen.
I wasn’t disappointed, I was worried. Worried about what was next. Uncertainty isn’t my thing. At the time, I was not thinking that this was the best thing that could have happened to Texas Tech. For a coach, to allegedly leave potential recruits in the middle of a dinner. To have a contract negotiation that lasted all of fifteen minutes.
The one thing that did occur to me was that there was now a limited and finite number of times that I would have to type of Tuberville’s name and it would be significantly less than it was prior to me opening that laptop. That would be something that would only have to do so many times and I remember that making me smile just a bit.
The coaching search didn’t start all that fast, but they’re not supposed to. Coaching searches and hirings take time, unless you are Tuberville.
I know that I have typed or emailed or texted so many times that Tuberville did Texas Tech the best favor that he ever could have. Tuberville reunited a fanbase. Not intentionally of course. I think it was well documented that he was looking out for his own hide. I can’t blame him for doing that. This is a business of self-preservation.
But in the grand scheme of things, this was meant to be. I don’t necessarily think that Texas Tech fans are all that long-suffering. There are other fanbases that have been through more, namely Penn St., but this has been a program that has been at each other’s throats for three years. Quite honestly, it’s been depressing. I don’t know if this is really my responsibility, but sometimes, I feel like part of my job is to keep shit together. Not be completely divisive and try and create a sense of unity and community. I don’t know why I feel that way, but I do. The last year and a half have been incredibly tough on me. This is not a pity-party, but just an unfortunate byproduct of the job.
So now, I feel like I can breathe again. It is a relief.
Kingsbury was asked if he thought that his hiring would heal wounds and he didn’t back down:
"Red Raiders are Red Raiders and we should all be pulling the same direction. That’s what I want, and I know that it’s time to do that again. You know, we’re a proud group and it’s time to get that thing back on track."
When I try to explain to other people, that Red Raider fans are different. That a lot of us did go to school at an out-of-the-way place, that it is more difficult for Texas Tech fans to go to home games than most other fans’ away games, and that we get that life isn’t always going to give us what we want. We are a proud group. It is time to get that thing back on track.
We’ll have to give Kingsbury some time. This current recruiting class is having some hits and this isn’t the first thing that Kingsbury will need to do. The first thing that Kingsbury has to do is hire a staff. That’s first on his list. And I don’t care if they are former Red Raiders or not. Kingsbury needs the best staff he can afford and I hope like heck that he negotiated a ton of money for his coordinators and coaches. He’s going to need to lean on his staff. We all saw how a young staff or an inexperienced can be problematic. Youth is great, but so is experience.
Once Kingsbury has assembled his staff, it’s time to start hitting the recruiting trail as hard and as fast as possible. There will be de-commits because the fit isn’t there and there will be commits because the fit is there. I don’t expect any of the Texas A&M commits to flip. I’m not worried or thinking about that now. Just keep things together.
And I want to go back to athletic director Kirby Hocutt. I think that Hocutt and Kingsbury speak the same language. They’re both former players, they both played and demanded much of themselves and their teammates. The video of Kingsbury and Hocutt leaving the plane, Kingsbury looks energized and Hocutt looks tired and relieved.
You did good Hocutt. So damn good.