Cardinals give Kliff Kingsbury four-year deal to be new head coach

Kliff Kingsbury is making the jump to the NFL. 

The former Texas Tech head coach and USC offensive coordinator has agreed to become the Arizona Cardinals’ new head coach

Peter Schrager of Fox Sports first broke the news. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported it’s a four-year deal with an option for a fifth year, and he added there’ll be press conference introducing Kingsbury on Wednesday.

The Cardinals are expected to pay the $150K buyout Kingsbury owes USC for resigning, per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. 

It will be Kingsbury’s first NFL coaching gig.

His career began as a player, as he spent four years as a quarterback for Texas Tech and parts of three seasons in the NFL before he played in Europe and Canada.  The 39-year-old then moved into coaching, spending time on the staffs at Houston (2008-12) and Texas A&M (2012) in the college ranks before becoming head coach at Texas Tech.

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In six seasons guiding the Red Raiders, he led the team to a 35-40 record and three bowl games (1-2). 

His tenure ended in disappointment, however, with three straight losing seasons. Kingsbury had just two winning campaigns in Lubbock. 

Nonetheless, he garnered a reputation as a cutting-edge offensive mind, and just over a week after he was fired at Texas Tech following the 2018 season, USC hired him to be its offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. 

With the NFL knocking, though, Kingsbury saw his time in Los Angeles end before it began.  Adding a bright, young offensive mind made sense for the Cardinals, who are grooming Josh Rosen as a franchise quarterback. Kingsbury already worked with players such as Case Keenum, Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes in college and was an NFL quarterback himself, however briefly, so he’ll be expected to get the most out of Rosen.

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