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Kingsbury completes, announces full staff

Six former Red Raiders among coaching hires

Posted: January 18, 2013 - 3:13pm  |  Updated: January 19, 2013 - 1:26am
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Kliff Kingsbury’s first month on the job as Texas Tech football coach involved little deception. He said he wanted a young staff heavy on ties to the university and the area, and he produced one.

Kingsbury on Friday officially announced his first group of coaches, one that, counting him, includes six recent former Red Raiders players.

“I think this place is special to them,” Kingsbury said in a news conference at the Tech football building. “I was telling the team, during our games (last year) at Texas A&M, at halftime I’d sneak over and check out the Texas Tech scores. When you’re part of this place on the level we were, it stays with you.

“And all these guys reached out to me. They all had great jobs. They were coveted employees at the universities they were at. They wanted to come back here, and they know what we can make this place.”

The five assistants coming back to Tech are Sonny Cumbie, Eric Morris, Mike Smith, Trey Haverty and Kevin Curtis, all of whom played at least part of their careers in the Mike Leach era.

The average age of the staff is 35, with six being 33 or younger and none 50 or older.

“I think it’s all positive,” Kingsbury said. “I want guys that want to be head coaches. I think that’s how you get the greatest work ethic out of them. You don’t want guys that are content to be at a certain level. You always want them to want to move up. That’s what this group is. They want to be head coaches, and I think a bunch of them will be one day.”

Among the new information that came to light Friday, Cumbie and Morris have been given the co-offensive coordinator duties.

“They’ll have a big input in the game planning,” said Kingsbury, who will call plays. “That’s the biggest thing. With me having the head-coaching duties, they’ll really take a big step in game planning and practice preparation.”

The offensive staff will consist of Cumbie, co-offensive coordinator/outside receivers; Morris, co-offensive coordinator/inside receivers; Lee Hays, offensive line; and Mike Jinks, running backs.

The defensive staff will have Matt Wallerstedt, defensive coordinator; Smith, co-defensive coordinator/outside linebackers; John Scott Jr., defensive line; Haverty, safeties; and Curtis, cornerbacks. Haverty also will oversee special teams.

Most of the announcements Friday confirmed reports of hirings over the past month. Wallerstedt is one of the most prominent hires, coming to Tech to be defensive coordinator from Texas A&M, where he was linebackers coach in 2012.

“I knew Matt and I was thinking that’s who I wanted when I came here,” Kingsbury said. “Texas A&M wanted him, too. They made it difficult to get him, which is smart because he’s a heck of a coach. We kind of worked through that process and it took a little longer, but we got the guy we wanted.”

Kingsbury got to know Wallerstedt last year when both were on the A&M staff.

The two faced each other three times in 2008 and 2009, when Kingsbury was on the Houston staff and Wallerstedt was at Air Force. The Falcons beat the Cougars two of the three times — 31-28 in the 2008 regular season and 47-20 in a bowl game after the 2009 season, holding the Cougars to a season-low. UH beat AFA 34-28 in a 2008 bowl game.

Wallerstedt was AFA’s associate head coach and inside linebackers coach at the time, but was promoted to defensive coordinator for the Falcons for 2010 and 2011.

Kingsbury said Wallerstedt had “one of the most challenging schemes I’ve seen as a coach.”

With Tech, Kingsbury said Wallerstedt will run a multiple defense, but was coy when asked if he knew the base defense.

“I don’t,” Kingsbury said. “Well, I do, but I’ll keep that until y’all check it out.”

“It’s going to be multiple and it’ll be aggressive, and that’s what I’m excited about,” Kingsbury said. “I know he’ll attack and go after people. That’s what I want when you match it with our offense.”

Like the co-offensive coordinators, Smith as co-defensive coordinator will have an added role in game planning, Kingsbury said. Smith spent the past three years on the New York Jets’ staff, two as a coaching intern and the 2012 season as outside linebackers coach.

Kingsbury said he liked what Smith was exposed to with the Jets.

“That’s an aggressive defense,” Kingsbury said, “so he has a bunch of ideas he’ll share and bring that to our staff.”

The last assistant Kingsbury landed is Scott. The Red Raiders’ new defensive line coach spent the last three years as special teams and defensive line coach at Georgia Southern, which went 10-4, 11-3 and 10-5 during his time there. Scott played at Western Carolina, making second-team all-Southern Conference at defensive end in 1998.

His hiring is still not official, pending a criminal background check that all new hires must pass.

After playing three years of pro football, Scott spent two years as a graduate assistant at Louisiana-Lafayette. Then he was an assistant at Norfolk State (2005), Western Carolina (2006-08), Missouri State (2009) and Georgia Southern.

“He has a tremendous track record of having great teams and great defenses,” Kingsbury said. “He brings a lot of energy, a great recruiter. I’m really excited to have him.”

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I Like this Staff- Guys that want to be there

I think it is a great thing that Kliff didnt settle on a DC and stayed after the guy he wanted. I also like the idea of Cumbie, Morris, Curtis and Smith recruiting with passion for theIR Alma Mater (Sonny has alread y been doing well as a recruiter).



Interesting Composition

This will be one of the most interesting coaching staffs in America. I hope that high school players respond to them, because they appear to be innovative, young, energetic, and cutting edge.

If you can manage and challenge the initiative and drive of coaches that are lookiing to be co-ordinators or head coaches, why would you want anyone else.


I think getting Ward back is huge.

Rekruiting is enhanced by winning, and Eric's good for pts/victory. Talking Ward into staying when he's already graduated may mean more for this season than any of the koaching hires.

Knowing human nature, I'm still not sold on the ko-koordinator thing, but I'm sure Kliff has klearly defined their roles irregardless of titles, so I'm looking forward to better days ahead.

Did I mention that I'm a big fan of Eric Ward? Guns Up, powder dry!!



I hope you Tech fans don't buy into his apparent lie. Exactly what games did he check at halftime? There was only one game that he could of looked at during halftime and you were playing Oklahoma State...


It was bound to happen

Out with the Hancers, in with the t-shirt fans!


Great Expectations

Undefeated next year. I'm calling it.



Kliff is getting together a interesting and reliable staff, young and energetic, people that want to be here, familiar with the area and people , that will translate hopefully into recruting solid players on both sides of the ball . I think everyone that is a Texas Tech fan is excited about the hiring of Kingsbury and what he will bring on the field of the Jones and this coaching staff he has assembled. good things ahead for Texas Tech and Raider fans.. WREC EM TECH.!!!!!!


I'm loving the anti-tech,

I'm loving the anti-tech, anti-Kliff comments by "good luck Kliff" and others lol. Sounds to me like some are worried "little brother" got pissed and will be coming out swingin!


Amen to that


You hit that nail square on its head. Sour grapes! Sour grapes! Sour grapes! I love it.......the Aggies have to hate losing someone like Kliff to Tech....you know; we're that cow college out on the high plains and they think they're (wrong) the Harvard of Texas.

The whole of the Big 12 absolutely loved the Turdville debacle......they knew the Jones was one of the toughest places to play during the Leach years.

It will be again.......can't wait. We have some pay-back coming to Okie Light and several others who make us look like fools in Our House.

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