Arizona Cardinals Hire Kliff Kingsbury As Head Coach On Four-Year Deal
ESPN reported that the contract also includes a fifth-year option for the team.
A new King in the Nest.#KardsGotKliff
— Arizona Kardinals (@AZCardinals) January 8, 2019
Kingsbury’s career is one of the most confusing tales in coaching. From 2013 to 2018, he coached at Texas Tech. During his time there, both Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes came through the program. Mayfield angrily transferred after a season. He started it off by beating out one quarterback who was injured, then got injured himself and lost the starting job to Davis Webb. Mahomes took over the program in his sophomore year, something Mayfield might have done if he had stayed. In his last season at the school, Mahomes led the country in passing yards, total touchdowns and points responsible for before going pro.
Despite having these two amazing talents, Kingsbury had an overall record of 35-40 at Texas Tech. He also lost most of his bowl games, ending with a 1-2 record in them. During his time there, he never lost less than five games. Kingsbury was fired by the school in November 2018. Somehow, he fell into an offensive coordinator job at USC. This might have been due to the fact that his Red Raiders team led the league in total yards per game in 2016.
When Black Monday occurred on December 31, NFL teams were interested in the USC play-caller. Let’s be real: working with Mayfield, Mahomes, or Sean McVay looks tremendous on a resume this season. But USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann blocked his new hire from speaking to the Cardinals or the New York Jets. Eventually, Kingsbury was granted permission to speak with the teams.
Arizona hopes the coach can develop their first-round pick, quarterback Josh Rosen, into a talent similar to Mayfield or Mahomes. Kingsbury should be unsure of how long his tenure will be. Bruce Arians coached the team for four seasons from 2013-2017 before stepping down. Prior to that, Ken Whisenhunt led the Cardinals for five years. But most recently, Steve Wilks was fired just after his first season, one where he found himself stuck with a rookie quarterback and a battered defense. After this hiring, every coach in the NFC West, other than 67-year old Pete Carroll, is under 40 years old.