Official: USC hires Kliff Kingsbury as offensive coordinator

Yahoo Sports
Texas Tech missed a bowl game in 2018. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson, File)
Texas Tech missed a bowl game in 2018. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson, File)

Former Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury is going to USC.

After reports last week that Kingsbury had talked to the school about being its new offensive coordinator the deal was made official on Wednesday. It was first reported Tuesday by The Athletic.

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“We are very excited to welcome Kliff to the Trojan Family,” Coach Clay Helton said in a statement.  “He is a brilliant offensive mind and is on the cutting edge of the game today.  His offenses have consistently been at the top of the college football statistical rankings.  With the talent on our team, along with his leadership and coaching, I truly believe that we can take our offense to new heights.” 

The Trojans parted ways with offensive coordinator Tee Martin earlier in the week. Helton had taken over for Martin as the offensive playcaller in October.

Kingsbury will also coach the team’s quarterbacks.

Kingsbury was fired Nov. 25

Helton will presumably be giving those play-calling duties back with Kingsbury as the team’s coordinator. Kingsbury was fired less than two weeks ago as Texas Tech’s head coach. The Red Raiders lost Nov. 24 to Baylor to fall to 5-7 and miss a bowl game.

USC’s record in 2018 was also 5-7 and the Trojans are missing a bowl for the first time since 2000. USC announced Sunday, a day after a loss to USC, that Helton would return in 2019 as the team’s head coach. A significant portion of the USC fanbase became unhappy with Helton throughout the season as the Trojans failed to back up an 11-win season in 2017.

Kingsbury played quarterback at Texas Tech from 1998-2002. He was the team’s head coach for six seasons and had a record of 35-40. Tech was 5-2 through the first seven games of 2018 before losing five straight to end the season.

Kingsbury gets chance to work with JT Daniels

Texas Tech averaged 37 points per game in 2018 and accrued six yards a play despite starting quarterback Alan Bowman missing time because of a lung injury. While Kingsbury has always been an adaptive and innovated offensive mind, his Texas Tech teams lagged defensively. The Red Raiders never allowed fewer than 30 points per game in Kingsbury’s six seasons.

Kingsbury played under Washington State coach Mike Leach at Texas Tech from 2000-02. Kingsbury’s offenses have roots in Leach’s Air Raid system and he was the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M in 2012 before he became Texas Tech’s head coach. Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy in Kingsbury’s only season at A&M. Kingsbury also coached Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes while at Texas Tech.

At USC he’ll have a promising young quarterback in JT Daniels. The freshman won the job before the season and had an uneven year for the Trojans. Daniels completed just less than 60 percent of his passes and threw 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while averaging 7.4 yards per attempt. Daniels enrolled at USC as a five-star recruit and Rivals’ No. 2 pro-style quarterback in the class of 2018.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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