LUBBOCK, TEXAS (AP) - New Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury has wanted to be back in Lubbock since he left a decade ago.
Late last week the former Red Raiders quarterback was watching film to prepare for Texas A&M’s game against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl and getting ready to accompany Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel to New York, where he became the first freshman ever to win the Heisman Trophy.
On Saturday, the Texas Tech job came open when Tommy Tuberville left after three seasons to take the Cincinnati job.
The next day Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt talked to Kingsbury about the job twice.
“It’s just been a whirlwind but I couldn’t be happier, beyond ecstatic to be back. It feels like home,” Kingsbury said after landing in Lubbock on Wednesday night. “This is where I wanted to be, it’s where I’ve wanted to be.”
Kingsbury and Hocutt met in Austin yesterday and the deal was sealed there Wednesday afternoon. Hocutt announced the news with a video posted on Twitter not long after.
“Wreck `em Tech,” Kingsbury said in the video, giving the school’s Guns Up sign when the camera panned to him.
Hocutt and Kingsbury agreed to a four-year deal, the terms of which have not been settled. Kingsbury will be formally introduced at a news conference Friday.
Kingsbury was the Aggies offensive coordinator this year. If it was any other school, Kingsbury said, he would have stayed at A&M.
“He understands,” Kingsbury said of Manziel. “He knows how I feel about him. He’s as good a player as I’ve ever seen and probably the fiercest competitor I’ve ever been around, so it was definitely hard with that. But this is where I belong.”
Kingbury was the first in a string of record-setting quarterbacks for the Red Raiders under former coach Mike Leach. Kingsbury passed for more than 12,000 yards at Tech.
He has never been a head coach and at 33, he’ll be one of the youngest in major college football.
Hocutt called him the “right fit” for Texas Tech.
“He’s prepared his whole life for this,” said Hocutt, who was the same age as Kingsbury when he got his first athletic director job at Ohio University. “He’s ready and I had no hesitation.”
Not long after Kingsbury was hired former Texas Tech receiver Danny Amendola, now with the St. Louis Rams, tweeted: “We jus got our swagger back. Wreck em TECH. Lets ride.”