News OK.com: Sooners jump-started Kingsbury’s career in 1999 (Raider Buzz blog)

Texas Tech will open the Kliff Kingsbury era next August at SMU. The Kingsbury coaching era. The Kingsbury quarterbacking era began on Nov. 20, 1999, against the Sooners.

On that historic day in Lubbock, the Red Raiders said good-bye to coaching icon Spike Dykes and hello to a quarterback who would become an icon. Kingsbury, a freshman in his first college start, lifted the Red Raiders to a 38-28 victory over OU.

And now Kingsbury is Tech’s new coach, perhaps repaying the Sooners for the misery of that 1999 game by leaving Texas A&M before the Cotton Bowl. Kingsbury is A&M’s offensive coordinator and Johnny Football’s quarterback coach and not expected to coach the Aggies against the Sooners in Arlington on Jan. 4.

Kingsbury is the people’s choice at a school where suddenly the people matter very much. After the debacle of Mike Leach’s firing, which fractured the fan base, and Tommy Tuberville’s sudden departure after three seasons for a Cincinnati job that is not the equal of Tech on college football’s food chain, Kingsbury is a soothing balm. Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt — who in November 1999 was fresh on the job as Joe Castiglione’s assistant AD at OU — hired Kingsbury because his offensive coaching has produced stunning results in a short amount of time and because he can build a bridge between a school and its fans.

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What a Great Game

That Tech win in 1999 was fantastic. A star was born and a legend was celebrated. Dykes deserved every bit of the glory of being carried off the field on his players' shoulders.

We didn't get into a bowl, but more people were worried about Y2K during those months. I was so proud then of our proud running back tradition and over-achieving defenses that I remember dreading some weird lawyer dude implementing a bunch of WAC passing crap learned at BYU. Heroes at the time were James Gray, Byron Hanspard, Bam Morris and Anthony Lynn, and local guys like Zach Thomas and Tracy Saul. Then that someone that was different and weird, earned my respect and took us to the next level, one that Spike envisioned in his day by taking on Miami, Penn State, Ohio State, Nebraska and Tennessee year in and year out, elevating Tech on its steady path forward.

We are back on that positive path with honor and integrity, gotta love it!!!

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