If we're scoring at home, Tech's 2017 hasn't exactly gone to plan. Firings, transfers, and dismissals have been in the headlines to start a pivotal year for Coach Kingsbury and his staff. First came news that former 5-Star recruit and two year starter Breiden Fehoko was transferring out of the program. Fehoko started every game for the Red Raiders since arriving on campus from Hawaii two years ago. For a Tech defense that was arguably the worst in college football last season that stings.
Then came the sudden firing of Lee Hays, offensive line coach since Kingsbury's initial staff. Kingsbury and the program took some heat for the firing, which occurred with little explanation and after arguably Tech's best haul of young offensive linemen enrolled for the spring semester. As Don Williams of the Avalanche Journal points out, most coaches are fired within 48 to 72 hours of the season ending thereby giving coaches time to find new jobs on new staffs, move their families etc. Kingsbury waited six weeks from the end of the season and just 48 hours after on of the highest rated trios of offensive linemen enrolled for the spring semester. The gem of the 2017 class, so far, has been Frisco's Jack Anderson who was recruited by Hays to Lubbock. Certainly Anderson and his line mates committed for reasons other than Hays, but the timing was odd for the players, perhaps even brutal for Hays.
At the same time, well regarded running back coach DeShaun Foster announced he's leaving Lubbock to head home to take a job at UCLA. Not a huge surprise, but Tech will now have its 3rd running backs coach in three seasons.
Lastly came the announcement that Arlington Oak Ridge's Bronson Boyd was kicked off the team just days after enrolling early. We don't know the details of Boyd's indiscretion but it must of have been severe to merit such a drastic move. Perhaps it's better to get bad apples out early, but you'd have to question Tech's vetting of recruits if they don't make a full week of classes. Boyd is the 3rd receiver to leave the program since the end of the seasons.
2017 is pivotal for Kingsbury. He's coming off a losing season and needs to right the ship, all with a new quarterback, a disastrous 2016 defensive performance, and a seat that continues to get warmer. Kingsbury was trumpeted as the returning hero alum, come to take Tech to new heights and early on that looked as if that was going to happen. A Holiday Bowl win and an 8-5 season his first year have since given way to a 16-21 record and no better than fifth place in the Big 12 the last three years. Patience may be wearing thin in Lubbock.