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Kingsbury ignites crowd during formal introduction as Texas Tech's new football coach

The former Tech quarterback said team he coaches at his alma mater will have "swagger"

Posted: December 14, 2012 - 1:31pm  |  Updated: December 15, 2012 - 1:33am
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Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury gives the guns up during his introductory news conference at the United Spirit Arena on Friday.
Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury gives the guns up during his introductory news conference at the United Spirit Arena on Friday.
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Before he ever stepped to the lectern on a stage inside United Spirit Arena, Kliff Kingsbury had a crowd of hundreds of Texas Tech fans in the palm of his hand.

And with a few brief, yet measured words, he made sure it stayed right there.

Kingsbury, 33, was formally introduced Friday as Tech’s new football coach in front of fans, alumni, former teammates and media, and he wasted no time reminding all in attendance that he was back where he belonged.

“It’s good to be home,” Kingsbury said after flashing the school’s “Guns Up” signal in front of a standing ovation. “I find it a little poetic that it’s a classic, windy, West Texas day, and I’m going on record that I actually enjoy the wind. You’ll never hear me complain about it.”

It might have been viewed as a jab at former Tech coach Tommy Tuberville, who often decried the effects of the wind, but Kingsbury said he wanted people to understand what being back on the campus where he starred as one of the program’s greatest quarterbacks means to him.

“The outpouring I’ve seen,” Kingsbury said, “this is where I’m always meant to be, and I can’t tell you how thankful I am.”

Kingsbury, who starred as a Tech quarterback from 1999 to 2002, won’t make his debut as a head coach until Aug. 31, so the jury will be out for some time as to what he can bring to the sidelines. But though “winning the press conference” has become an overused cliche in sports, Kingsbury’s first public appearance seemed to mark a victory for Tech.

He drew loud cheers when referring to Texas A&M, where he served last season as an offensive coordinator, as “that other university.”

“When I got into coaching,” he said, “I went to the University of Houston. That was a business decision. When I went to that other university, that was definitely a business decision. But being here now, this is personal to me. This is where I want to be.”

In the wake of Tuberville’s resignation Saturday, Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt said the main objectives of his coaching search were “identifying a winner” and finding somebody who “knows the fabric of West Texas.”

Hocutt termed the hiring of Kingsbury as a “mission accomplished.”

“Kliff is at home and it shows,” Hocutt said after Friday’s event. “He’s comfortable. He wants to be here. He’s excited to be here. The journey ahead is going to be a fun one.”

Kingsbury, who already has hired two former Tech players — Eric Morris and Kevin Curtis — to join his staff, didn’t delve into much detail regarding what the Texas Tech program will look like under his watch. After all, he still hasn’t been able to practice with the team and won’t until the spring.

But he promised that Jones AT&T Stadium will be an exciting place to watch football.

“I’m more of a walking-type guy, not a talking-type guy,” Kingsbury said. “So I’ll let you all see that in the fall. But it’s going to be an exciting brand of football. We’ll be attacking on both sides of the ball. We’ll play with confidence. The kids are going to have fun. They’re going to have swagger, and you’ll enjoy this next year’s team. I promise you.”

Morris, who doesn’t yet know which position he’ll coach at Tech, said the energy level Kingsbury brought to Friday’s press conference will mirror the way he approaches his work as a head coach.

“Kliff won’t say it, but I’ve seen him behind the scenes,” Morris said. “He works harder than anybody I’ve ever seen. He’s the first one there and the last one to leave, and so he deserves this. It’s not like he was given something at a young age. He’s worked his tail off ever since I’ve known him. He’s a great football coach, very charismatic and cares about the kids and is someone that will do a great job. I couldn’t think of anybody I’d rather work for.”

Kingsbury said Tech’s offense will look different than the one he quarterbacked under former Tech coach Mike Leach. Kingsbury pointed out during the 2011 season when he was Houston’s co-offensive coordinator, the Cougars led the nation in passing. At A&M this season, the Kingsbury-led offense led the Southeastern Conference in rushing, thanks in large part to the contributions of Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.

“We’ll adapt to the personnel we have and play at our strengths,” Kingsbury said. “Bottom line is scoring points and getting first downs, stopping people on defense and winning ballgames.”

Before Friday’s press conference, Kingsbury met with Tech players as a whole for the first time. He was tight-lipped on what he said to the group — “I can’t say exactly what I said because it would not be appropriate,” he said — but Hocutt said the message was received “extremely well” by players in the room.

Shortly after the press conference, Kingsbury was back on a plane to go recruit. But he didn’t leave without asking Hocutt for one favor. It was one more slight jab at Tuberville, sure. But it was also one more seized opportunity to excite a fan base that appears already to be very much in his favor.

“One last request I have with Kirby,” Kingsbury said. “I was going to see if there’s any way possible we can get Cincinnati on the schedule next year.”

 

(Staff writer Don Williams contributed to this report.)

 

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nick.kosmider@lubbockonline.com • 766-8735

george.watson@lubbockonline.com • 766-2166

 

 

 

 

 

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5
5

playing cincinnati

i don't think we schedule non-conference games with teams that level do we? historically don't we play div. 2 for the first month?

6
3

Loved the dig

At former Coach Pinocchio. Kind of like people wanted WSU to play Tech. Be fun to watch Kingsburys Raiders beat that liars ass.

7
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In my opinion

The first 30 seconds says it all! That's something we didn't get 3 years ago.

8
3

We

We got screwed 3 years ago

8
0

Make it happen!

Would love to see us play Cinci at tha Jones!!

9
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He will do well

He knows how to teach and coach young men. It is pretty amazing to see what he and Sumlin did at Houston and A&M given what kind of kids they had. I can't wait to see what he can do at Tech. He will come in and want the kids to win immediately. I don't see any negatives hiring Kliff.

6
4

Would be great

Smokin Tubby and his outdated 1960 football. Of course he has to get his people in there, and the wind would blow, and they're injured, and he was just trying to get him off the field.

1
1

Tucker Tuberville

Is he transferring?

5
2

Goodbye Boredom

Flubby's idea of football was always 2 yards and a cloud of flatulence. Thank God those days are over ...

1
6

Six different articles on the

Six different articles on the same subject on the front page, another one on the Texas page plus one duplicated on the front page (which is a habit of the AJ). Don’t you think that’s a bit overdoing it?

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1

Fun Times

Kliff appears to have brought the excitement back to the Red Raiders. I bet he will wind up being a very good recruiter. I love the comment about getting Cincy of the schedule! This may turn out to be the best thing ever to happen to The Raiders. I think Gundy has done a good job at Oklahoma State. I can see that happening here. I would have renewed my season tickets anyway, but I can honestly say I look forward to next year. When Leach was here, there was always a void when the season was over, I think I feel that same void coming back! When Tubberville's season was over I was always proud. He never represented us with class. I think the fan base is uniting and class is back in Tech Football!

4
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Coyote

Why do you keep talking about Tubs? Kliff is our coach now.

And you've bashed Tech since Leach was fired so don't jump back on the bandwagon now. If can't support the program at all times then don't do it at all. Go away, we don't want you.

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@coyote

What I thought was great was KK acknowledging Tubs (Pinocchio) was here and adding that TTU had a potentially talented team and had mediocre results. Like you, his saying playing Cincinnati was more than a fitting remark about our past struggles and didn't whitewash the past.

However, as a native West Texan, when he said he loved the wind here, I thought that was his best jab at TT, negating his excuse for losing. I'm sure that remark resonated with those of us who have left Lubbock and returned, knowing the wind would bring sand and rain simultaneously and send us to the car wash!

Kirby Hocutt was a class act today and earned the respect of all Red Raiders with his passionate introduction of KK. Mike Leach's gracious remarks helped heal the chasm of the fan base, those of us who recognized TT was not happy being here, but don't forget, he did us HUGE favor by taking his "Riverboat Gambler" self to a lesser position just to get out of Lubbock. His timing couldn't have been better, his actions at the 50 Yard line more revealing.

It's a great day to be a Red Raider! GUNS UP!

3
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Thats why youre a janitor

Since youre the self appointed mediator of Tech fandom, you'll need to cast yourself off the bandwagon. You see, Mike Leach is no longer the coach at Texas Tech. Kliff Kingsbury is our coach. I find it interesting, or sad, depending on ones perspective, that you commented "we dont want you". You see, youre a hancer. Your "we" is merely a group of, maybe, 5 or 6, tops. After you have banished the ones who constantly brought Leach into the conversation about the fallacy of the Tuberville era, your group may have dwindled to just you. Part of the stupidity of the hancers is their unknowingly criticizing their own pathetic hance minions. But keep trying, custodian. Youre sinply making a pathetic few look even more idiotic, if thats possible.

3
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why all the hub-bub?

I keep reading about Holcut & Hance, but the one that pulled off the coup of getting KK was correctly Dr. Lawrence Schovanec - the President of Texas Tech.

The Board of Regents said everything went thru him & he had the final say-so. (smile & wink). Doesn't the newspaper & fans believe the Board ???

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go Kliff

Way to go, Kliff! I'm all about and for taking jabs at Tuberville! Can't be done enough as that loser nearly destroyed the program!

2
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Yeah

I forget, digitalman, how did Tuberville get here?

3
0

GOOD TIMES AHEAD !!!

Looks like we have someone that wants to be here, that says a lot,Eric Morris said that Kingsbury is the first one there and the last one to leave. Kliff said he wont complain about the wind, and bring on Cincy. It does take a special person to want to come to West Texas,we now have one. Looking forward to Spring and his coaching staff and recruits, Im excited. Tuberville, who is that,????

1
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@coyote

Once again, it happened. You currently have three "nay" votes for your second post. WHO ON EARTH could disagree? Astonishing.

1
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You Guys Are Right

There ARE a few administration spin kings (or queens) on this site that constantly enter pro Chancellor/Regents hogwash. The reprehensible acts of those people in December, 2009; are indefensible--yet they receive "support" here.

So far we have a coaching staff of three. All three are Coach X protegees. There will be no place for the perpetrators of the Crime of 2009 to hide when success comes.

Success at the cash box is already here. Success on the field is right around the corner.

0
5

Looks that way

Yes, facts its true. Some people are so incredibly delusional that their attempts at trying to justify themselves verge on insanity. I see them as being fortunate that you, I and the vast majority of others both here and out in the world, are here to try, albeit unsuccessfully, to snap them back to truth and reality. And dont you know, facts, the thumbs up symbols are a direct reflection of their correctness?

3
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ignition

"Ignites" is a good word to describe what has happened to the TTU fan base since KK's hiring.

3
2

Ulysses

The relief of ending the Tuberville era plus bringing KK in did ignite the fan base. The donations are up more than at any time in TTU history.

3
1

See, I told y'all that ...

... false factsrafarce is a closet longhorn lover trying to cause dissension and negativity around our beloved community. A great week to be had by all, and he's still spewing his vile hatred for Raiderland !!

0
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Defensive Coordinator Prospects

Kliff Kingsbury should hire Chris Klieman from NDSU or Nick Toth from Fresno State as the DC at TTU...

1
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Facts you also have

Facts you also have a Spike "protegee" as well, Kliff. It's not about Coach "X", anymore. Even Kliff said that he will play to his players strengths and not a necessarily a pass happy offense. I'm glad he is beloved player/ coach around here because if anyone else would have said that, he would have been chastised for not wanting to be anything other than a Coach "X" offense. Don't deny it, most of you guys would take it negatively if any other coach would have said that about how Tech will approach playing on offense. Kliff was coached by Spike and Leach. Go Tech!!

1
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@facts

Facts looks like Coyote has 8 "nays". I guess there is more than 5 or 6.

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