There’s a downside to winning. A downside to scoring points by the bushel and having a Heisman-winning quarterback. There’s a downside to finishing 10-2, ranked in the nation’s top 10. That downside? Other schools start coming after your coaches.
Ask a Texas A&M fan this morning.
Last evening, Texas Tech University tabbed Aggies offensive coordinator, Kliff Kingsbury, to be its new head coach. The 33-year-old Kingsbury threw for over 12,000 yards during his days as the Red Raiders quarterback from 1998 through 2002. But his coaching rise has been even more rapid than that timeline suggests.
Kingsbury spent time in the NFL and CFL before joining Kevin Sumlin’s staff at Houston in 2008 as a quality control coach. He was named offensive coordinator at A&M when Sumlin arrived this offseason. Now, after spending just five seasons as a college assistant, Kingsbury will take over his alma mater’s program in Lubbock.
Ironically, it was another SEC school that set the carousel in motion that eventually cost the Aggies their offensive coordinator. Tennessee hired Butch Jones from Cincinnati and the Bearcats quickly filled Jones’ office by naming Tommy Tuberville head coach. Tuberville had been desperately trying to get out of Texas Tech, pursuing both the Arkansas and Tennessee vacancies before landing in Cincy. Now his move has opened the door for Sumlin’s high-profile coordinator and Johnny Manziel’s tutor to make the trek across the Lone Star State.
The Aggies’ Heisman-winning quarterback tweeted a reaction to Kingsbury’s departure last night: “To all the people worried about Coach K leaving… Coach Sumlin will always bring in the best and do anything to make sure we’re successful.”
Texas A&M led the SEC in scoring offense this past season with a 44.8 points-per-game average in 12 contests. In conference games only, that number dropped to 39.1 points-per-game, but the Aggies still led the league in that category.
Kingsbury’s offense also led the league in rushing offense (235 yards per game), passing offense (317 yards per game), and total offense (552 yards per game). Now granted, Kingsbury was running the offense put in place by Sumlin, but his loss is still being met with shouts, screams and groans on Aggie messageboards today.
Ah, the price of winning.