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Texas A&M's Kliff Kingsbury and Clemson's Chad Morris are on the top of Texas Tech's list of head coaching candidates.

Morris, Kingsbury 'right at the top' of Tech target list, source says

Young offensive coordinators offer intrigue as potential head coaches

Posted: December 10, 2012 - 11:57am  |  Updated: December 11, 2012 - 12:58am
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Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, center, is joined by coach Kevin Sumlin, right, and offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury after becoming the first freshman to win college football's Heisman Trophy, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012 in New York. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)  Henny Ray Abrams
Henny Ray Abrams
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, center, is joined by coach Kevin Sumlin, right, and offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury after becoming the first freshman to win college football's Heisman Trophy, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012 in New York. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)
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Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris and Texas A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury are “right at the top” of Texas Tech’s list of football head-coaching targets, a source said Monday.

“They’re both getting close scrutiny,” the source said.

Tech was plunged into a coaching search Saturday when Tommy Tuberville unexpectedly resigned to take the top job at Cincinnati, which had a 9-3 regular season and earned a share of the Big East Conference title.

Both Morris, 44, and Kingsbury, 33, might have to convince athletic director Kirby Hocutt their shortage of experience is not an obstacle. The fact neither have long-term college coaching resumes, let alone college head-coaching backgrounds, might be a concern.

“I think it is, more so with Kliff than (Morris),” the source said. “The biggest concern with Kliff is no head-coaching experience ever and with Morris only head-coaching at the high school level.”

A second source indicated Morris might interview with Tech on Monday, though it’s unclear whether any contact took place. TheClemsonInsider.com quoted Morris on Monday saying he had not received an interview or an offer from Tech.

Baylor coach Art Briles, who was a Tech assistant from 2000 to 2002 and has a long coaching pedigree in Texas, also has been mentioned as a potential target, but the first source said the chances of his being the next Red Raiders coach “are slim.”

Briles just signed a contract extension at Baylor, and the Bears are scheduled to open a scenic new stadium in 2014. Baylor is a private school, so Briles’ contract details aren’t subject to open records laws, but he is believed to have a costly buyout for any school that wants to hire him.

Asked what might stand in the way of Tech hiring Briles, the source said, “I think just everything.”

Morris and Kingsbury appear to be the two focal points, at least at the beginning of the search. Nationally, Texas A&M ranks third and Clemson ninth in total offense, with Kingsbury’s unit averaging 552.3 yards per game and Morris’ bunch averaging 518.3.

That’s a little ahead of Tech, which averages 501.4 for 12th in the nation.

Both enjoyed the benefit of having star quarterbacks this season, Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel in Kingsbury’s case and Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year Tajh Boyd in Morris’ camp.

Kingsbury, a former Tech quarterback, didn’t get into coaching until 2008, after his playing career ended. But he’s gaining attention after he mentored marquee quarterbacks each of the last two seasons. Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman, and in 2011 Kingsbury served as co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Houston, watching Case Keenum throw for FBS bests of 5,631 yards and 48 touchdowns.

That Houston team finished 13-1, and A&M is 10-2 going into the Jan. 4 Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma.

Morris was born in the northeast Texas town of Edgewood, graduated from Texas A&M and had a record of 169-38 as a head coach in Texas high schools. His head-coaching stops were at Eustace (1994-97), Elysian Fields (1998-99), Bay City (2000-02), Stephenville (2004-07) and Austin Lake Travis (2008-09).

He coached teams to state-championship games six times, winning three: at Bay City in 2000 and at Austin Lake Travis in 2008 and ’09.

At the latter stop, Morris coached Michael Brewer, the Tech redshirt freshman quarterback who is the heir apparent to senior Seth Doege.

He got into college coaching in 2010, serving one year as offensive coordinator at Tulsa before getting hired at Clemson. The 2010 Tulsa team ranked fifth in total offense (505.6 ygp), and the 2011 Clemson offense set school records for yards per game (440.8) and points (470).

 

Staff writer Nick Kosmider contributed to this report.

 

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don.williams@lubbockonline.com

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Kliff Kingsbury — Texas A&M offensive coordinator

The New Braunfels, Texas, native was a record-setting quarterback at Texas Tech (1998-2002) under Mike Leach’s offense and is currently the offensive coordinator for No. 9 Texas A&M (10-2). Kingsbury followed Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin to A&M from the University of Houston, where Kingsbury served as co-offensive coordinator in 2010 and offensive coordinator in 2011.

Kingsbury took over as the Red Raiders starting quarterback for the final game of his freshman year. He would go on to start three years for the Red Raiders and set 39 school records, 13 Big 12 records, and seven NCAA records en route to 12,429 career passing yards and 95 touchdowns. He won the Sammy Baugh Trophy his senior year for the nation’s best collegiate passer. In 2002, he was also named Verizon Player of the Year, and Associated Press’ Offensive Player of the Year

Kingsbury was drafted in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He spent the 2003 and 2004 seasons with the Patriots and also spent time with the Saints, Broncos, Jets, and Bills.

Kingsbury’s coaching career began when he accepted the position of quality control at the University of Houston in August 2008. Former Texas Tech offensive coordinator, Dana Holgorsen, who was an assistant during Kingsbury’s career, was the offensive coordinator at Houston at that time. When Holgorsen left for the offensive coordinator job at Oklahoma State in 2010, Kingsbury assumed the role as co-offensive coordinator and would assume the full role as OC the following year.

In his first season at Texas A&M. Kingsbury Aggies currently have the 14th best passing offense, 13th best rushing offense and third best scoring offense.

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Kingsbury, Period!

Kliff Kingsbury is by far a better candidate with stability and excitement. Morris seems like a flight risk. I don't know if Morris is married but I have known a couple of marriages and relationships that have been broken up because of the South Plains. Kingsbury is not married and he's been here for many years. Bring in Kliff, of course none of us have heard if Kliff would even come here, but bring that boy home. We need some good news after this past year and the last three years.

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Man I remember that 2002 A&M/Tech game

Kliff and Wes brought Tech back from 17 pts. to beat the aggies in OT. Had to listen to it on the radio but it was great. We were Texas State Champions that yr. Kliff is a Tech legend. He is ready. Bring him back to Tech.

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Either

Both coaches would be great. I think Kingsburry would be more of a long term hire. I'm afraid Morris would jump to aggie if Sumlin ever moved up to the NFL. Either way both of the coaches would be a homerun. I'm glad to see that we are trying to bring an exciting brand of football back to Lubbock.

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scary

Any good coach would be scared to death of being micro-managed by Kent Hance & the Board of Directors.

Working under them, anybody could be considered a "flight risk".

7
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Thats going to be there with

Thats going to be there with every University. Gundy wasn't happy at OSU because he wasn't in full control.

Word on the street about Two Timing Tommy Tuberville is that he was spending too much on the athletic budget and Hocutt had a meeting with him. Basically saying that he can't spend all this money and perform the way he has, and expect to stick around.

Gerald Myers was such a doofus that they administration had to step in, I am not saying that they did a good job. I am not taking up for them, but have you ever heard Gerald talk? Pure stupidity.

Anyway if Hocutt gets Kingsbury it will revitalize this University. God knows we need it!

6
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Both Sound Good But...

Don't get lost in the heat of the day. Expand the field and don't be so hard on West Texas as a place to live. This is an excellent opportunity and will attrack a large number of possibilities. Some might even surprise us.

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Go Over the Fistful Kliff

Just the right timing for fists to be pumped into the air by all of Red Raiderland, whether pre-Dykes, Dykes, Leach or Tubs. The guy has winner all over him and always has.

A decade ago, no way for someone that young. But football has changed and our recent loser never understood that. Guys who helped Kliff along his way, all of them, clearly understood you move forward, not backward. Chad Morris has College Station bound written all over him and we need someone who is all Red Raider. Kliff fits that just perfectly.

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I Like what Kirby is doing

Kirby is acting like the AD that the TTU publicist said he was when hired. This decision will make or break his career and he knows it. No one else in the University wants to take any responsibility for this decision--especially after what has happened lately.

Other sources outside of the TTU family think that he is probably the best positioned AD in the country to make this decision for a school like Tech (not a Bama, UT, LSU, USC, etc.). It will be interesting to watch, but I like the first two candidates out of the box. Both have long Texas ties and strong connections within the Texas high school coaching ranks--which is a must for recruiting. Both have the ability to make Tech "Quarterback U" which Leach did.

Everyone that is posting on this site is focusing solely on the won/loss records of the candidates, as they should. I feel confident that we will find a coach that satisfys that criteria. What also must be satisfied is the new coach's ability to attract a top-notch staff. That was a BIG problem with the previous regieme.

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I used to be on Tuberville's sympathetic list. HA. Not no mo!

I used to be that guys biggest supporter on this site. I took up for him, I defended his actions, I told everyone to wait it out that he would generate these wins. Man was I wrong. I defended him when he committed investment fraud, basically everything. The man is a bold faced liar, and a horrible representation of Texas Tech. He never fit in because he didn't intend on staying. His wife wasn't happy here and it showed. He was using Tech as a pawn. His plan was to get Tech in the top of the conference and bolt to a better school where they would feed him money. He was never committed to Tech and it showed. Good Riddance Two Timing Tommy Tuberville, you will not be missed in Lubbock; even your biggest supporters are turning on you.

3
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choose Morris

I loved the way Kingsbury played each and every week, and it looks like he is on his way to a nice coaching career, but he has coached for 5 years and is 33 years old. He does not have the depth of experience to handle all aspects of a head coaching position or the resume/relationships to attract the quality of assistant coaches this program will need immediately. Morris has more experience, has coached at different levels and will be able to recruit Texas. Give me the guy who coached at Bay City, Stephenville and Lake Travis and is now coaching in the college ranks.

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Head Coach

Kirby, go get Bobby Petrino before he inks with Western Kentucky....Just tell him he cant own a motorcycle and all will be good. He is the best coach on the market today

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Kingsbury ,no brainer..

Lets see just how much guts Hocutt has to hire a Leach ex-quaterback, lets see if Hance is still calling the shots. we shall see...Kingsbury makes sense me to me,he has Lubbock connections, played here, lived here,knows how we West Texas Lubbock folks are,will run a wide open offense,that Lubbock and Tech fans want to see here, he is young, and hungry for a opportunity. IT MAKES SENSE . just as long as Hance keeps his nose out of it. .. better do something right for a change, and not hire retreads..

7
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Or an Ex Spike QB

Kingsbury was a Spike recruit who mastered Mike's offense.

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Not saying they're not worth hiring but

there's has to be more to choose from? Need to take the time to do this right and not play favorites like Meyers did. Lubbock can be tough on an outsider so I think patience is the key here.

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Don't hit the submit button twice

Duplicate post

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@Rv90

D Royal was 32 when he started at UT.

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Looking better already

I'm starting to see Red Raiders reuniting!!!! We are starting to agree again....and supporting the same ideas and the TEAM. This is looking better already.... geeez I think we are going to make HUGE strides next year no matter who comes in..... just because of a UNITED fan base.

4
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Briles???

Would we really want to have Art Briles pull a Tuberville & ditch Baylor? If Briles is the guy I think he is, he will stay at Baylor which is bad for us, but that's what a guy with integrity does!

As for the other choices, only someone capable of predicting the future knows who will be best. But, this is our chance to upgrade & I hope Hocutt gets it right!

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Personal Experience: Chad Morris is a fabulous coach

Kingsbury certainly would have instant chemistry with players and fans and would more likely than not be a marvelous success, but Morris brings a larger magnitude of "proven" experience...which is the major difference between the two in my mind. The man (Morris) can inspire and form cohesiveness in a team to a HUGE degree with a very hands-on methodology (something that was gravely missing with Tubberville)...I've seen Morris in action as a parent of a high school player of his. A system was created that demanded incredible discipline and inspired life lessons, not just football lessons. That sounds corny but I'm convinced that is why Lake Travis came away with 5 back-to-back state championships...Morris was absolutely the creator and center of that success. Whatever the case may be, I agree...there is going to be a major Raider Reuniting this year!!! Crazy excited!

7
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According To Me....

Forget Sonny and Briles. They have brand new deals that have nothing whatsoever to do with Hance. A no-brainer for them.

Forget Petrino. No more "projects" like Knight Sr. and Billy Clyde. And I voted to bring both in.

We are about to test the soul of the Great Red Raider Nation, because most know Kingsbury is the choice. Only the cowards in the back room and their leader could stop this hire. NOBODY would turn down the Tech job--it's the best remaining job out there. 2M x 5 years is a lot of money.

So we're all on the Hance Watch.

Pray.

7
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33 too young- Really? We can't afford to pass on Kingsbury

We already missed out on Art Briles and Sonny Dykes. Let's not let this ridiculous age argument cost us a shot at another up and coming young coach.

John Madden- Head Coach Oakland Raiders age 32

Darrell Royal- Head Coach Texas Longhorns age 32

Mike Gundy- Head Coach Oklahoma State age 38

Bob Stoops- Head Coach Oklahoma age 39

I'm sure there are more examples. These are just the first ones that came to mind.

1
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Who is left

I found this page and it is a great source of information regarding coaching vacancies.

http://www.collegefootballpoll.com/coaching_changes.html

$2mil a year is the average for a NCAA - BCS coach now days. http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2012/11/19/college-football-coaches-contracts-analysis-pay-increase/1715435/

3
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Something to think about

I realize this is past its time, but is anyone concerned that Kirby chose not to answer what I am sure is his athletic department/university issued cell phone on Saturday? Just imagine they make an inquiry to a coach and he calls back on a number Kirby does not recognize and they decide not to talk with Tech or a booster wants to donate major funds to the athletic department and Kirby does not answer! Answer your phone when it rings Kirby!

4
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Kingsbury's experience at the

Kingsbury's experience at the pro ranks learning under the best is the biggest deciding factor for me. He is also a household name in Texas. That is a very easy recruiting advantage. Morris, I didn't know about him until today. I doubt that anybody outside of Texas Tech today knows about him.

3
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Jerry Gray

Why didn't the AJ mention HIM?? He's been interested in the job for a while. Actually, he wanted the job before Tech hired Tuberville...& we can see how well THAT turned out. I like Kliff & wouldn't be against that hire but to not even look at Gray again would be stupid, especially with him being a home-grown coach with experience who WANTS to come to Tech.

5
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Morris will use the position

Morris will use the position as a stepping stone. His loyalty is to A & M. Darrell Royal was 32 when Texas hired him. Gundy not much older. Bring in Kingsbury and lets get this football program back on the RR track!

2
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Petrino goes to W. Kentucky

well we lost out on Petrino, he's on his way to W. Kentucky

3
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Todd Monken goes to Southern Miss

OSU offensive coordinator Todd Monken on his way to So. Miss...

So at this point, the only real option is Kliff Kingsbury.

7
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Excellent News

The resignation of Tuberville was the best news I had heard in months. I have been hoping for his departure since the day he got here. He is a liar and a poor coach. I can only wonder how someone with his morals and coaching ability can continue to find jobs. For all of his supporters who could never tell me what they continued to see in him, I hope you can accept a new and better coach, whomever it may be.

Kingsbury is a winner, and although young, would be an excellent coach and be in it for Tech. He is what Tech needs to get some interest back into the game and once again put us back on top and give us some credibility. I am once again looking forward to a new season, and can now go back to Lubbock to see a game after having sworn off until Tuberville was gone.

Guns Up

3
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Take a risk

I'm conflicted on who to sign. Every single one of the "hot" picks right now are all offensive minded and if there is anything we've learned as Red Raiders over the last 12 years it is the fact that defense wins championships. Regardless of who we go after, they've got to be committed to Tech and Lubbock. Tech athletics has a revolving door right now between baseball, basketball, football, and even men's tennis is losing their coach. Tech is bleeding athletically from multiple wounds and we need people who can stay for a long time.

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