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We Live to Prove the Naysayers Wrong: An Interview With Kliff Kingsbury

Texas Tech Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury took some time out of his busy schedule to sit down with us and answer a few questions. Keeping things true to form, we covered everything from recruiting to life's difficult choices.

The future
The future
Donald Miralle

Sometimes things just fall into place, and this is definitely one of those times. Coach Kingsbury is knee deep in recruiting and I'm sure has a million things on his plate, but he graciously agreed to this interview. Respect.

Travis: One of the things I respect most about you is your "no excuses" philosophy. Freshmen quarterbacks, injuries on defense, the wind, none of that mattered and you never made any excuses for a loss during that season. In that light, and at the risk of abruptly ending this interview, I wrote an article before the Holiday Bowl in which I said I didn't think you earned a big pay raise after your first year. Now, after the bowl game, I've changed my mind and think that given the circumstances you had a tremendous overall body of work. What grade would you give yourself after your first full season?

Coach Kingsbury: I'm not big on giving grades. I expect us to win every game, and we didn't get that done this year. We need to improve in a lot of areas moving forward, and we will.

Travis: What was the most surprising thing (or what did you have the most difficulty adjusting to) as a first year Head Coach?

Coach Kingsbury: I would say the biggest adjustment was handling all of the administrative duties that come along with being a head coach.

Travis: You guys recently signed up for a home & home with Arizona State in 2016 and 2017 and now a Wyoming series is in the works. Not to mention the games versus Arkansas beginning next year. What is your philosophy on out of conference schedules? Are you looking for marquee matchups early on or would you rather keep it to some in-state games to get you prepared for the grind of conference play?

Coach Kingsbury: I think with the new playoff system you are going to see more teams scheduling to improve their strength of schedule. I would assume you will see more and more marquee early non-conference match ups.

Travis: Ok, time to get serious. Varsity Blues or Friday Night Lights? Dawson's Creek or Saved by the Bell?

Coach Kingsbury: Varsity Blues even though it was SLIGHTLY embellished. Saved By The Bell is a classic.

Travis: Saved by the Bell deserves an Oscar. So who is easier to have a conversation with- Mike Leach or Bill Belichick?

Coach Kingsbury: Both are geniuses. With Mike you may get an hour lecture over the economic growth in the 1800s of the southern United States. He is very well informed on pretty much anything and everything. Bill is more short and sweet and most conversations pertain to football.

Travis: I catch some heat from Tech fans because I'm a huge fan of Johnny Manziel and think he's great for the game. Do you think he should be the number one overall pick in the NFL Draft?

Coach Kingsbury: I would take him with the #1 pick. He's the most dynamic player that I have ever seen, and I think with the way the NFL is changing, he has a chance to be a superstar in that league.

Travis: Along those lines, let's talk recruiting for a minute. This recruiting class seems to be really coming together. Just between us, should we expect any pleasant surprises between now and NSD?

Our coaches have done a tremendous job this year putting together this class, and I am very excited to see how we wrap it up at the end. -Kliff Kingsbury

Coach Kingsbury: Our coaches have done a tremendous job this year putting together this class, and I am very excited to see how we wrap it up at the end.

Travis: Definitely excited about that. Now onto fashion. Can we make all red happen at least once next year? I'm talking red shoes, red pants, red jerseys and red helmets. It would get the people goin'.

Coach Kingsbury: Red has been requested a lot so we'll see.

Travis: How much do you enjoy doing press conferences? Sometimes I think that you would rather be doing press conference more than anything else in the world.

Coach Kingsbury: No comment.

Travis: Ok, let's move on. You've probably seen Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon's History of Rap videos, where they take some rap songs from history and make it into an outstanding compilation. What would be the 5 rap songs that you would put in your own History of Rap?

Coach Kingsbury: 5) Nuthin' But a G Thang by Dr. Dre, 4) Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice, 3) Juicy by Notorious B.I.G., 2) Lose Yourself by Eminem, 1) Forever by Drake, Kanye, Lil Wayne and Eminem

Travis: So we talk a lot on the site about what it means to be a Red Raider. Whether its on the football field or in our careers and lives after we graduate, Red Raiders tend to have a chip on their shoulder but we use that to excel. I guess its a product of being located in West Texas where the people don't complain, they just roll up their sleeves and get to work. We realize that we have to earn every bit of respect or status or standing in our communities and in most cases we get it done. I know if I can build a sales team of Tech grads, its probably going to work out well. So if someone came to your office and had never heard of Texas Tech, how would you describe what it means to be a Red Raider to them?

Red Raiders are extremely proud of what we have and never complain about what we don't. We LIVE to prove the naysayers wrong. -Kliff Kingsbury

Coach Kingsbury: You covered a lot of what it means to be a Red Raider leading up to your question. Red Raiders are extremely proud of what we have and never complain about what we don't. We LIVE to prove the naysayers wrong.

Travis: Ok I'm ready to jump through a wall, but I want to wrap this up first by asking you about your brother Klint. He's become a cult hero on our site because of his prowess in shooting pigs from helicopters with a bow and blowing up limos for his friend's bachelor parties. Do you think you could convince him to give me a call? There are some things I'd like to blow up and put on YouTube and we're having some pig problems.

Coach Kingsbury: I will have him hit you up. He's a cold blooded killer.

Travis: Yes! Confetti flies and I'm doing the pow pow with my finger guns all day.

Again, many thanks to Coach Kingsbury for chatting with us!

Wreck 'Em.