Newly appointed Texas Tech football coach Kliff Kingsbury addressed the media Friday afternoon to announce the hiring of his coaching staff and his goals for the upcoming season.
After being announced head coach more than a month ago, Kingsbury has completed his search for Tech’s coaching staff and has opted to go for a youthful approach.
The last month and a half has been fast and furious, Kingsbury said.
“It’s been hectic, but it’s been fun,” he said.
Kingsbury said he is hopeful the new coaches will bring fire and enthusiasm to the Red Raider football team.
“I want guys that want to be head coaches,” Kingsbury said. “I think that’s how you get the greatest work ethic out of them. You don’t want guys that are content to be at a certain level.”
Of the 11 coaches on staff, six have degrees from Tech, meaning they are familiar with the area and facilities already.
“I think this place is special to them,” Kingsbury said. “They were coveted employees at the universities they were at and wanted to come back here, and they know what we can make this place.”
Kingsbury made several marquee signings including Mike Smith, whom he coaxed away from the New York Jets organization, and Matt Wallerstedt, who helped coach Texas A&M to a Cotton Bowl victory Jan. 4.
Having 10 assistant coaches on the team means Kingsbury will not be alone in coming up with game plans and schemes. Kingsbury plans to utilize them often throughout the season.
“They’ll have a big input in the game planning,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing with me having head coaching duties. They’ll really take a big step in the game planning and practice preparation.”
In hiring his full coaching staff, Kingsbury said he will not only look to the upcoming season, but also will look to the future because recruiting season is right around the corner.
Although Tech will have needs at many different positions, Kingsbury will not rush to fill spots with any available player, he said. Kingsbury is only looking for players who will fit his system and fill specific needs.
One player who Kingsbury is looking to use heavily is junior receiver Eric Ward, who has announced he will stay for his senior season. In the 2012 season, Ward caught 12 touchdowns and recorded more than 1,000 receiving yards.
“(The team is) very excited to get him back, and we all know he’s a tremendous player and he had a tough decision,” Kingsbury said. “He has a family and he has graduated, so for him to come back and want to represent Texas Tech one more year — that was huge for us.”
Ward’s contribution will be essential to Tech’s success because it is losing five of its core receivers from the 2012 season. Kennard, Moore, Torres, Williams, and Zouzalik are seniors and are expected to leave once the current semester ends.
During the 2012 season, Doege established himself as an elite quarterback, but Tech will gain a new dimension at the position when freshman quarterback Michael Brewer steps into the starting role in 2013.
Brewer is a dual-threat quarterback who showed people what he was capable of when he replaced Doege for one play during the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas at Reliant Stadium, completing a 13-yard pass for a touchdown.
Excluding graduating seniors, Kingsbury said there has been a rate of attrition, but was unable to announce how high or low the rate will be.
Kingsbury will look to showcase his newly appointed coaching staff and the players under their direction in the upcoming spring game. The game date has yet to be announced.
“It’ll be pushed back later than y’all are probably used to,” said Kingsbury. “We want to get them into the weight room and give them an extended amount of time to get with our strength coaches, and then learn the offense.”
Working with a new staff, Kingsbury is eager for the Red Raiders to step on the field and showcase their talent.
“I can’t wait to really get the players out on the field and get that going,” Kingsbury said. “We really think next year we can really do some work.”
The Red Raiders will open up the regular season when they play on the road against SMU on August 31.