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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