Kliff Kingsbury constructing a coaching staff in his own image
- by Zach Barnett 1 year ago
Kliff Kingsbury blew into Lubbock a month ago like a West Texas dust storm and has spent that "fast and furious" month holding together Texas Tech's recruiting class while building his coaching staff.
In what has to be the first and only occurrence in FBS history, outside receivers coach Sonny Cumbie and inside receivers coach Eric Morris will serve as co-offensive coordinators. Cumbie played quarterback at Texas Tech from 2000-04, and Morris played wide receiver for the Red Raiders from 2004-08. Morris was hired away from Washington State, where he worked under former coach Mike Leach, and Cumbie was retained from Tommy Tuberville's staff.
"Playing here, being a walk-on and having the success he did, he's what Texas Tech's about," Kingsbury said of Cumbie. "He was coveted by a lot of schools and we were lucky to keep him. The kids love him and he has a great rapport with everybody here. We were lucky to keep him on our staff."
Befitting a young coach returning to his alma mater, Kingsbury has filled his staff largely with young coaches returning to their alma mater. Also befitting a coach that has quickly risen through the coaching ranks (he started his coaching career as a quality control assistant at Houston in 2008), Kingsbury sought to identify a new wave of fast risers to fill his staff.
"I want guys that want to be head coaches. I think that's how you get the greatest work ethic out of them. I want guys that want to move up and become head coaches, and I think they will," said Kingsbury.
Texas Tech's defensive coordinator will be Matt Wallerstedt, the former linebackers coach at Texas A&M brought to Lubbock by Kingsbury. "I wanted him, Texas A&M wanted him too. They made it tough," he said. "(The defense) going to be multiple, and he'll be aggressive. I know he'll attack and go after people, and that's what I want to match our offense."
Another former Texas Tech wide receiver, Trey Haverty, was brought in from TCU to coach the Red Raiders' safeties and special teams. Mike Smith, a 2004 graduate of Texas Tech, will be Texas Tech's co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. Kevin Curtis, a 2002 Texas Tech graduate, will coach the team's cornerbacks, bringing the staff's total to six former players (which one has to believe is an FBS high at this time).
"These guys all had coveted jobs," Kingsbury explained. "Their universities wanted them, but they wanted to come back here."
Filling out the staff: Lee Hays was brought in from Houston to coach the offensive line, Mike Jinks was plucked from the Texas high school ranks to coach running backs, John Scott, Jr., was pulled from Georgia Southern to coach the defensive line, and Chad Dennis joined Kingsbury and Wallerstedt in the exodus from College Station to run the team's strength and conditioning program.
With the primaries on his staff in place, Kingsbury now just has to close out Texas Tech's 2013 recruiting class, kick-start the 2014 class and plan spring football.
"I know it will be later than y'all are probably used to," Kingsbury said. "We want to get them into the weight room for an extended time, and we want them to learn the offense and get them in meetings."
Above: Scott Roussel (FootballScoop), Kliff Kingsbury, Bob Thomas (President - ProGrass)