Stats don’t lie. It’s something that people have been saying as long as statistics have been recorded. According to the stats, Kliff Kingsbury is not a great head coach. As most of you know and believe as I do, there is more to a head coach than wins and losses. Here are my top 4 reasons that Kliff gets to stay.
No. 1: Class
One thing that everyone has been able to say about Kliff Kingsbury is that he is a class act. He does the moral and correct thing no matter what situation is thrown his way. The most memorable of those situations was in 2016 when three players, including current player Dakota Allen was arrested for burglary charges. Kingsbury did the right thing, he cut them from the team. Allen had to go to a junior college to regain Kingsbury’s trust and has since returned to the team. The other two players, Robert Castaneda and Trace Ellison have moved on to other colleges.
No. 2: Relationships
The relationships that Kliff Kingsbury has developed and maintained from his time here as a football player to his time now as a head coach is another one of the reasons that Kliff gets to stay. His relationship with Kirby Hocutt is one of the strongest he has at Texas Tech and with rumors debunked that Hocutt is leaving to go to Arkansas, Kliff must have breathed a heavy sigh of relief as Kirby is not only his boss but his greatest ally as well.
Sources have told me and @wholehogsports @TomMurphyADG that Kirby Hocutt won't be succeeding his good friend Jeff Long as Arkansas' AD. This is the fourth power-5 program known to reach out to Hocutt this year, but he's declined to pursue each. https://t.co/F12SL91Rmy pic.twitter.com/uaGm2BSHXw— Don Williams (@AJ_DonWilliams) November 30, 2017
Kirby was the first one to speak in favor of Kliff after the win at Texas last Friday and re-assured us that the Head Coach would return next year. Which brings me to my next reason.
No. 3: 2018
2018 will now be the make or break year for Kliff Kingsbury and his coaching staff. The hope is that his defensive staff will remain in place and his offense will still be his to coach and do as he pleases. With 10 of your 11 starters returning on a resurgent defense along with offensive weapons such as Keke Coutee (if he doesn’t go pro), Tre King, and your entire offensive line returning on offense give Kingsbury a chance to do something with a good amount of talent and experience. 6-6 will not be tolerated in my opinion and if he repeats the same type of lead-blowing that he did this year, 2018 could be his last year at the helm.
No. 4: Lubbock Ties
Remember back in 2013, when Texas Tech got out of the dreaded Tuberville era and into what they thought would be a great era with Kliff Kingsbury. Why were we so captivated by the hire? Was it because he was a offensive wizard who was going to undo all of the poison that Tommy had brought to the town? Partly. Or could it have been the stunning looks that could be the face of a great college such as Tech? Maybe. In my opinion, the main reason it was such a good story is the “former star quarterback comes home to bring the fame and glory he earned as a player” story line. The hype was real for Kliff and unfortunately it hasn’t produced any great season after the 8-5 season of 2013 that included starting off 7-0 but also had an awful 5 game losing streak (sound familiar). Never-the-less, Kliff is still a prominent figure in Lubbock lore and will be for a long time. Texas Tech is giving him another chance to be that great, something that most people don’t get.
The reality of it is that Kliff is here for at least another year. Although his contract isn’t up until 2020, after this year, a buyout is much more manageable financially. The chance that Kirby, among others, has given him is one that can give the program a arrow pointing upward or downward. If Kingsbury doesn’t capitalize on this opportunity, the program will likely go back to the drawing board and a rebuild will be imminent.