LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) – Texas Tech hired one of its own Wednesday, bringing back former Red Raiders quarterback Kliff Kingsbury to become the head coach.
Kingsbury was offered the job in the afternoon and Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt announced the news with a video posted on Twitter not long after.
“Wreck `em Tech,” Kingsbury said in the video, giving the school’s Guns Up sign when the camera panned to him.
Kingsbury was the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M, coaching Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, this year and was the first in a string of record-setting quarterbacks for the Red Raiders under former coach Mike Leach.
He has never been a head coach and at 33, he’ll be one of the youngest in major college football.
Not long after Kingsbury was hired former Texas Tech receiver Danny Amendola, now with the Los Angeles Rams, tweeted: “We jus got our swagger back. Wreck em TECH. Lets ride.”
Hocutt was set to fly back to Austin with Kingsbury, athletic department spokesman Blayne Beal said.
Kingsbury succeeds Tommy Tuberville, who left unexpectedly last week to take the Cincinnati job. Red Raiders fans never warmed to Tuberville. Texas Tech still emphasized the passing game and the spread offense under Tuberville, but many Tech fans had a hard time getting past the firing of the popular Leach.
There’s no doubt about what kind of offense the Red Raiders will run now. Kingsbury has been part of some of the most prolific offenses in the country the past few years. His offenses spread the field and move quickly, favoring the up-tempo that is all the rage. Texas A&M is third in the nation in total offense at 552 yards per game heading into the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma.
Before Tuberville came to West Texas, the Red Raiders had two coaches in 24 years — Spike Dykes and Leach. Kingsbury becomes their second coach in four years.
Kingsbury will work with sophomore quarterback Michael Brewer, this season’s backup to Seth Doege. Brewer played high school football under Chad Morris, who Hocutt interviewed for the Red Raiders coaching job Tuesday in South Carolina. Hocutt later flew to Nashville, Tenn., to meet with Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray.
Kingsbury followed Kevin Sumlin to A&M from Houston, where he mentored quarterback Case Keenum and the 2011 Cougars led the nation in total offense, passing offense and scoring.
He is a Texas native from New Braunfels, not far from Austin.
During his years as Texas Tech’s quarterback Kingsbury put together some monster passing games passing. He still holds the school record for most completions in a game. Against Missouri in 2002 he completed 49 of 70 passes for five touchdowns and 510 yards.
Drafted by the New England Patriots in 2003, Kingsbury played for five NFL teams. He also played in the Canadian and All-American football leagues.
The past two seasons have seen the Red Raiders slide down the stretch. This year they lost four of their last five games and in 2011 they dropped five straight to close the season for the program’s first losing season since 1992. Under Tuberville, Texas tech did not have a winning Big 12 season.
The Red Raiders play Minnesota in the Meineke Car Care Bowl on Dec. 28 in Houston.
Chris Thomsen, who led the offensive line under Tuberville, will coach the bowl game.