Firing a good guy is hard. A lot easier to get rid of a jackwagon like Bobby Petrino, Tim Beckman, or Urban Meyer, but a good guy is harder to fire. That’s probably why Texas Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt gave Kliff Kingsbury more time than most and gave him the decency of finishing the season, even waiting until today to make the announcement. Kliff Kingsbury never embarrassed the program, took the high road, but in the end he didn’t elevate Tech’s program.
|2013||Texas Tech||8–5||4–5||6th||W Holiday|
|2015||Texas Tech||7–6||4–5||T–5th||L Texas|
|2017||Texas Tech||6–7||3–6||8th||L Birmingham|
Kingsbury’s program hit the ground running with an eight-win season in 2013 and a win in the Holiday Bowl, but even then the Red Raiders didn’t finish in top half of the league. Kingsbury’s squads finished fifth just once, never better.
Tech deployed talent at quarterback Davis Webb, and Patrick Mahomes made the league, and Baker Mayfield spent a year at Tech before moving on to Oklahoma. In the midst of the Mayfield transfer, Kingsbury set the tone in spite of Mayfield’s sometimes very direct insinuations and comments, by avoiding degrading the kid, his family or the situation. We know there was more to Mayfield’s transfer, but Kingsbury never went after his players, current or former.
When Kingsbury dismissed Dakota Allen from the team due to a burglary charge, Kingsbury allowed Allen the chance to return to the program after a year in the JUCO ranks, to close the loop. Allen, by all appearances, behaved in an exemplary fashion during his second stint in Lubbock.
Kingsbury took the Tech job after just five years as an assistant, and he suffered growing pains, with initial staff mistakes, and some evaluation misses, but Kingsbury evolved as a head coach, and despite today’s news, he has a bright future in the profession. He’ll be sought after as a coordinator and may get a head job sooner than later.
We wish Coach Kingsbury the best in whatever comes next.