There can be a shortfall of ideas during the dog days of summer. This article isn’t earth-shattering, but deserves to be shared anyway. I simply want to say that I’m proud of the man who is at the helm of Texas Tech football.
During his time as a quarterback at Texas Tech, Kliff Kingsbury embodied everything West Texans seem to enjoy about football. He was a blue collar kid from the Texas town of New Braunfels, the son of a Vietnam veteran turned high school football coach. Kingsbury wasn’t flashy. He was just a skinny guy who could throw the pigskin.
He was a hero during his time in Lubbock, mastering Mike Leach’s air raid offense, which brought national attention to Texas Tech. Kingsbury broke just about every school record there was with regard to passing. He even finished ninth in the Heisman trophy voting after his senior season in 2002.
After a brief professional stint and working his way up the coaching ranks, Kliff Kingsbury came home. As Texas Tech’s head coach, he’s had one bad season and two mediocre seasons. He’s 19-19 overall, with a couple of major wins (Holiday Bowl against Arizona State, on the road against Arkansas and Texas). But that’s not what makes me proud of him.
I met him once, and even though I didn’t deserve the time of day from him, he was kind and willing to take a picture with me. I’ve seen him do the same with other fans, greeting them with a smile, signing autographs, taking pictures, etc. He has displayed class, going out of his way to congratulate opposing players after the game.
A friend of mine took classes with Kingsbury during his time at Texas Tech. He says Kingsbury was a great student who made good grades and was always respectful in the classroom. Kingsbury encourages the Lubbock community to get involved in helping the less fortunate. He’s the first guy in the office and the last one to leave. The most scandalous thing he’s ever done was tell the media he kicked a coach’s ass during the postgame press conference.
He awards walk-ons scholarships based heavily on their academic performance rather than their talent alone. He disciplines his players according to their actions. He doesn’t shy away from dismissing a player from the team, or suspending them from team activities until they improve their grades. He doesn’t even let his players get away with acting up in the cafeteria.
Is the Texas Tech program flawless? Probably not. Are they a powerhouse on the gridiron? No (not yet). But do they have a leader who has earned respect? Absolutely. Kliff Kingsbury has instilled a culture of doing things the right way in Lubbock. If you don’t make the grades or don’t meet student athlete expectations, you’re not afforded the same privileges given to players who are doing the right things.
I’m proud Kliff Kingsbury is our head coach. I’m proud of the program he is leading. And I can’t wait until the upcoming season starts. Wreck ‘em Texas Tech!