Texas Tech head football coach Kliff Kingsbury (I will not get tired of typing this) sat down with the media yesterday and he probably spent a few hours being interviewed and then signed autographs at the basketball game and then I am sure he worked some more.
SIT DOWN | LAJ's Don Williams and Nick Kosmider have a transcribed Q&A session that was very good. A couple of things, which is that Kingsbury said that he will call his own plays, which makes sense and he isn't sure if he will have an offensive coordinator by title:
Right. And I’m sure there’s guys who’ll be on the staff that can do it just as well, but I just feel comfortable in what I can do in that regard. And dealing with the quarterbacks, being on the same page with them, I would want to keep that responsibility on me.
Also, Kingsbury talked about playing to a team's strength rather than having a certain philosophy so I am interested in seeing how Kingsbury will call plays:
I think we got there and we wanted to play to our strengths, and they had a veteran offensive line coming back, some really good running backs and a young quarterback that was probably more comfortable with his legs than with his arm. So we played to those strengths. From what I can see coming back at Tech next year, there’ll be some similar-type things going on. We’re going to do whatever it takes to win ballgames. That’s kind of my thing, my philosophy.
Kingsbury hopes to have a staff completely in place by the middle of January, which sounds about right. Kingsbury also noted that he hasn't made any decisions about Chris Thomsen and Tommy Maindord. Also, Kingsbury was asked and answered about his mom, which was good.
KINGSBURY ENDORSED | LAJ's Don Williams also spoke Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt about how there were numerous coaches and players that vouched for Kingsbury. What I thought was more interesting was what Hocutt expects from the football program:
"Our goal is to be the best college football program in the state of Texas. When you’re the best in the state of Texas, then you’re going to be one of the best in the country. That’s what we’re working toward."
"All that being said, we want a winning football program," he said. "It’s a journey. We’re not going to get too high with the highs or too low with the lows, but we’re going to make sure we make progress each year to achieve our ultimate goal and that’s to win a Big 12 Conference championship and compete for the national championship."
That's pretty much Hocutt. Steady. Don't get too down and don't get too high. I feel like Hocutt and I were separated at birth. This is what I want from my athletic director and seeing the hiring process I appreciate it even more.
And this may be the most comforting thing that I've read about Kingsbury:
"Kliff is a natural leader. Kliff is one of the best coaches in the country as far as understanding systems, schemes. He has a clear definition in his mind of what he plans to do here, about the staff he wants to put around him, about how he’s going to build our program."
When coaches interview it is all about having a plan. A clear idea of how they plan to assemble a staff, run a program, run the strength and conditioning. They have to have all of these ideas in a relatively concise and clear message to an athletic director. If Hocutt is saying this about Kingsbury, then this makes me feel infinitely comfortable.
VTM READER CORRESPONDS DIRECTLY WITH NATIONAL WRITER | A good strong VTM reader emailed me and let me know that SI's Stewart Mandel answered one of his questions about Kingsbury and I thought this was good:
I have no idea whether he's ready to run a major program or not. But it's not like he's taking over a broken team. If you're going to hire an inexperienced coach, it's better for him to take over a program that already has some talent and is regularly going to bowl games, not one that requires a full-on rebuilding job. And Kingsbury learned under one of the best CEO-style coaches in the sport, Kevin Sumlin. I'd imagine Kingsbury would take a more hands-on approach with the offense. I only hope he puts his own stamp on it, as he did at A&M, rather than trying to emulate exactly what Leach did. Just because he played quarterback for Leach does not mean Kingsbury will be a replica. If anything, he'll probably take more of his cues from Sumlin.
I too think that he'll take a ton from Sumlin, but mainly because they have been attached at the hip since Sumlin arrived in Houston. I think this is terrific and I know that the term "CEO" head coach is a word that isn't very pleasant around here, but it doesn't have to be. It will be really interesting to watch Kingsbury grow as a coach.
MISCELLANEOUS | DMN's David Just writes about how former Washington St. Demarcus Ayers is leaning towards committing to Texas Tech if he gets an offer (he cannot receive an offer until after Christmas because this is a recruiting dead period) . . . the StarTribune has a bit on the wide splits of the Texas Tech offense . . . Yahoo! Sports Pat Forde grades the coaching hires and Kingsbury's hire gets an incomplete . . . SB Nation Dallas approves of the hiring of Kingsbury . . . per the LAJ Hocutt did approve and interview the hiring of Chad Dennis as the new strength and conditioning coach . . .
Red Raiders Wrap Up Bowl Practice in Lubbock, Prepare for Houston (via techathletics)