Kliff Kingsbury

American football player and coach (born 1979)

American football player
Kliff Kingsbury
refer to caption
Kingsbury in 2017
Washington Commanders
Position:Offensive coordinator
Personal information
Born: (1979-08-09) August 9, 1979 (age 44)
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school:New Braunfels (New Braunfels, Texas)
College:Texas Tech (1998–2002)
NFL draft:2003 / Round: 6 / Pick: 201
Career history
As a player:
  • New England Patriots (2003)
  • New Orleans Saints (2004–2005)*
  • Denver Broncos (2005)*
  • New York Jets (2005)
  • Cologne Centurions (2006)
  • Buffalo Bills (2006)*
  • Montreal Alouettes (2007)*
  • Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2007)
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Passing yards:17
Head coaching record
Regular season:28–37–1 (.432)
Postseason:0–1 (.000)
Career:NFL: 28–38–1 (.425)
NCAA: 35–40 (.467)
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR
Coaching stats at PFR

Kliff Timothy Kingsbury (born August 9, 1979) is an American football coach and former quarterback who is the offensive coordinator for the Washington Commanders of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Texas Tech, finishing in the top three in several school passing records before being selected in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL draft by the New England Patriots. He later played for other teams before entering coaching in 2008.

Kingsbury was offensive coordinator of the 2011 Houston Cougars that led the NCAA in nearly all offensive statistics that season, averaging 50 points and nearly 600 yards per game. He was also the head coach of Texas Tech (2013–2018) and the NFL's Arizona Cardinals (2019–2022). Kingsbury has been cited for helping develop quarterbacks such as Case Keenum, Johnny Manziel, Baker Mayfield, Patrick Mahomes, Kyler Murray, and Caleb Williams.

Early life

Kingsbury was born on August 9, 1979, in San Antonio, Texas.[1] Kingsbury played football at New Braunfels High School, where his father was head coach.[2] Kingsbury also was a member of the baseball, basketball, and track teams.[3] As a quarterback at New Braunfels, Kingsbury threw for 3,009 yards and 34 touchdowns while leading the team to the Class 5A Division II semifinals and a 13–2 record.[2] He was named the offensive MVP in the Texas High School Coaches All-Star Game.[4] Kingsbury graduated 3rd in his class of 450, and was an Academic All-State selection.[5] Kingsbury was inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame in 2018.[2]

College career

Kingsbury played 43 games at quarterback for the Texas Tech Red Raiders from 1998 to 2002, completing 1,229 of 1,881 passes for 12,423 yards with 95 touchdowns and 40 interceptions. Kingsbury set 39 school records, 13 Big 12 Conference records, and 7 NCAA FBS records.

In his redshirt freshman year in 1999, Kingsbury appeared in six games, starting the season finale against Oklahoma. He completed 25 of 57 passes for 492 yards, four touchdowns and an interception in his initial collegiate season.[6] In 2000, he assumed the starting role and connected on 362 of 585 passes for 3,418 yards, 21 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He added two scores on 78 carries. His season ended with a loss to the East Carolina Pirates in the Galleryfurniture.com Bowl, with a final score of 40–27. As a junior in 2001, Kingsbury was an All-District first-team selection and All-Big 12 Conference second-team pick by the league's coaches for his performance. He completed 365 of 528 passes for 3,502 yards, 25 touchdowns and only nine interceptions.

In 2002, Kingsbury averaged 350.2 yards per game, setting a new record with 5017 yards and his 45 touchdown passes nearly doubled his mark set during the 2001 season. As a senior, Kingsbury led Texas Tech to a 9–5 record, defeating Big 12 Conference rivals Texas, Texas A&M and Baylor, in addition to a 55-15 routing of the Clemson Tigers in the Tangerine Bowl.

Following the 2002 season, he was awarded the Sammy Baugh Trophy, annually presented to the nation's best college passer. He was additionally selected as a Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-American and Player of the Year, a unanimous All-Big 12 Conference first-team selection, was named the Associated Press Offensive Player of the Year, and finished 9th in Heisman Trophy voting.[7] These awards followed a season during which he shattered his own school single-season records by completing 479 of 712 passes (67.3 percent) for 5,017 yards, 45 touchdowns and just 13 interceptions. He also added two rushing scores on 102 carries.[6]

He, along with Graham Harrell, are the only Texas Tech quarterbacks to have beaten both the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns during their careers as starters. Kingsbury led Tech to 3 bowl games in his 3 years as a starter, with a 24-16 overall record. In 2003, he held the NCAA records for career plays, career plays per game, single season and career passing attempts, single season and career passing completions, highest single game completion percentage, career lowest percentage of passes intercepted, and most single season and career games gaining 200 yards or more.[8]

Kingsbury was only the third player in college football history to throw for over 10,000 yards, gain over 10,000 yards in total offense and complete over 1,000 passes in a career. He also became just the fourth player in college football to throw for over 3,000 yards three times during his career.[6] Kingsbury was also an Academic All-Big 12 Conference choice following his sophomore campaign in 2000.

College statistics
Team Gp Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A TD Int Rtg
1999 6 25 57 43.9 492 8.6 4 1 136
2000 12 362 585 61.9 3,418 5.8 21 17 117
2001 11 365 529 69.0 3,502 6.6 25 9 136.8
2002 14 479 712 67.3 5,017 7.0 45 13 143.7
Career[9] 43 1,231 1,883 65.4 12,429 6.6 95 40 133.2

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Wonderlic
6 ft 3+12 in
(1.92 m)
213 lb
(97 kg)
32 in
(0.81 m)
9+34 in
(0.25 m)
4.77 s 1.63 s 2.74 s 4.10 s 6.92 s 30.0 in
(0.76 m)
8 ft 5 in
(2.57 m)
All values from NFL Combine[10][11][12]

Kingsbury was selected by the New England Patriots with the 201st overall selection (6th round) of the 2003 NFL Draft.[13] He did not play in his rookie season of 2003, spending the year on the Patriots' injured reserve with an arm injury. He did, however, get a Super Bowl ring. He was waived by the Patriots on September 6, 2004.

He was signed by the New Orleans Saints to the team's practice squad, where he spent the entire 2004 season. He went to training camp with the Saints that season and completed 10-of-21 passes for 139 yards with a long of 57 yards and two interceptions.[6]

He was signed to the Denver Broncos' practice squad on September 6, 2005, and was released on September 21, 2005.

He then signed with the New York Jets on September 28, 2005.[6] Kingsbury made his NFL debut on November 20, 2005, playing part of the fourth quarter for the Jets against the Denver Broncos.[14] He completed one of two pass attempts for 17 yards.[15]

The Buffalo Bills signed Kingsbury in 2006 and he attended training camp with the Bills but he was cut before the regular season.[3]

NFL Europe

The New York Jets assigned Kingsbury to the Cologne Centurions of NFL Europe in 2006. He posted the top quarterback rating of any Cologne quarterback (73.7) while completing 58 of 102 passes for 633 yards and two touchdowns. He also led Cologne with a 56.9 completion percentage.

Canadian Football League

On March 30, 2007, Kingsbury signed with the Montréal Alouettes. He spent part of training camp in Montréal before being traded to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on June 20 in exchange for quarterback Brad Banks.[3] He was the third-string quarterback for the 2007 Blue Bombers season behind Kevin Glenn and Ryan Dinwiddie.[16]

Coaching career

Houston (2008–2011)

In August 2008, Kingsbury joined the University of Houston football staff in the position of quality control.[17] Kingsbury received recognition for the performance of the Houston offense in 2009 with Case Keenum at the helm. Keenum finished his Houston career with multiple NCAA Division I passing records. With Holgorsen departing to become the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State University, Kingsbury was promoted co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Cougars alongside Jason Phillips. In 2011, Kingsbury served as playcaller of an offense that lead the NCAA in nearly all offensive statistics, averaging 50 points and nearly 600 yards per game.[18]

Texas A&M (2012)

Kingsbury was named the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M in 2012, coaching Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel.[19] The Aggies led the Southeastern Conference in rushing, passing, total and scoring offense, and were the nation's only offense ranked in the top 15 of the NCAA statistics in all four categories.[20] For his performance, Kingsbury was named the 2012 Footballscoop.com Offensive Coordinator of the Year and was named a finalist for the Broyles Award.[21]

Texas Tech (2013–2018)

Kingsbury in 2013

Kingsbury was named head coach at Texas Tech on December 12, 2012. Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt announced the hire with a video linked from his Twitter account. The video panned over to Kingsbury, who flashed the Guns Up sign and said, "Wreck 'em, Tech."[22] Kingsbury's contract included a base salary of $10.5 million over 5 years, and creative control over the team's uniforms.[23] At 33, Kingsbury was the second-youngest head coach of a team in an AQ conference and the third-youngest head coach in college football.[24]

Kingsbury made his head coaching debut August 30, 2013 with a 41–23 victory over the SMU Mustangs. Kingsbury chose walk-on true freshman quarterback Baker Mayfield for the starting role at the position, and Mayfield was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week for his performance. Mayfield was later supplanted by Davis Webb, another true freshman quarterback, due to a knee injury during the Kansas game. Following Webb's first start against Iowa State, Webb was also named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week. Texas Tech became the only school in the Big 12 Conference to have had three different freshman quarterbacks win the award, with the first being Kingsbury himself in 1999.[25]

The Red Raiders made their Associated Press Top 25 debut in the Kingsbury era following a win over TCU on September 12, 2013.[26] It was the earliest a first year coach at Texas Tech achieved a spot in the rankings. Kingsbury also became the first coach in Texas Tech history to start the season 6–0 in their debut season after the Red Raiders defeated Iowa State on October 12, 2013. Following a victory against West Virginia on October 19, 2013, Kingsbury led the Red Raiders to a 7–0 start for only the fourth time in program history. The 10th-place ranking the team received in the BCS also marked the highest the program had been ranked since the 2008 season. With the win over West Virginia, Kingsbury became the first Big 12 coach to start his career 7–0.[27] The Texas Tech Red Raiders finished Kliff Kingsbury's first year at Texas Tech by losing the last 5 games of the season, finishing the rookie coach's first regular season at 7–5. Tight end Jace Amaro was also named as a Consensus All-American, the first Red Raider to be selected as such since Michael Crabtree in 2008.[28]

Kingsbury and the Red Raiders capped off the season with a 37–23 upset over the #14 ranked Arizona State in the 2013 Holiday Bowl following an impressive performance by quarterback Davis Webb.[29] Two of Kingsbury's players would be selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, Amaro and Will Smith. Following the season, Baker Mayfield transferred to Oklahoma. He eventually won the 2017 Heisman Trophy and was selected first in the 2018 NFL Draft. On August 29, 2014, Kingsbury received a $1 million raise to $3.5 million and a contract extension through 2020. The extension specified that Kingsbury's salary would increase by $200,000 a year to a maximum of $5.5 million in 2020.[23] The extension was given following an announcement for a $185 million athletic fundraising campaign.[30] Under Kingsbury's leadership Texas Tech sold out 2014 season tickets for the first time since Texas Tech's inaugural 1925 season.[citation needed] The 2014 team struggled with numerous injuries, finishing 4–8 on the season.

The 2015 season concluded at 7–6 before losing in the Texas Bowl to LSU.[31] The Red Raiders finished 5–7 in 2016.[32] The team disappointed with conference wins against Kansas, TCU, and Baylor and finished in 8th place in the Big 12. The Red Raiders finished the 2016 season with a 55–34 victory over Baylor. This victory snapped a 5-game losing streak against the Bears. The 2016 team finished with the 6th best offense and the worst defense in Division I FBS.[33] The team finished the 2017 season 6–7.[34] The team showed signs of improvement as the offense finishing #16 in the country overcoming the loss of first round pick Patrick Mahomes. The defense also showed signs of improvement jumping up to joint #58 overall, a vast improvement for a defense that was the worst in the NCAA the prior season.[35] At the conclusion of the season, athletic director Kirby Hocutt confirmed that Kingsbury would be returning for his 6th season as the Red Raiders coach.[36]

The 2018 season started quickly with the Red Raiders defeating Houston and Oklahoma State on their way to a 5–2 record.[37][38] Texas Tech then dropped its final five games of the season to finish at 5–7.[39] Three straight losing seasons overall and six straight losing seasons in the Big 12 ultimately sealed the fate for Kingsbury.[40] Athletic director Kirby Hocutt announced on November 25 that Kingsbury would not be retained for the 2019 season.[41] He left with an overall record of 35–40 (including 13 victories over lower tier Group of Five and FCS competition) and 19–35 in Big 12 play.[42]

Arizona Cardinals (2019–2022)

Kingsbury as Cardinals head coach, 2020

Kingsbury was hired by USC as their new offensive coordinator in December 2018 but resigned a month later to look into NFL opportunities.[43] On January 8, 2019, he was hired as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.[44] Some attributed Kingsbury's hiring to the "Sean McVay effect", a trend in the league of teams hiring younger offensive minded head coaches.[45][46] Kingsbury won his first game against the Cincinnati Bengals and finished the season 4th in the NFC West with a record of 5–10–1. In 2020, the Cardinals finished 3rd in the NFC West with a 8–8 record. In October 2021, Kingsbury and several other Cardinals coaches had tested positive for COVID-19 and were unable to coach in a game against the Cleveland Browns. The Cardinals finished 2nd in the NFC West and made the playoffs with an 11–6 record. In his playoff debut, Kingsbury and the Cardinals lost 34–11 in the first round to the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams. Despite signing a six-year contract extension earlier in 2022, Kingsbury was fired after the Cardinals posted a 4-13 record that year.[47] He finished his tenure with a 28–37–1 record and one playoff appearance.

USC (2023)

Kingsbury joined USC as a senior offensive analyst under head coach Lincoln Riley in April 2023, working closely with quarterback Caleb Williams.[48]

Washington Commanders (2024–present)

On February 5, 2024, Kingsbury was hired by the Washington Commanders as offensive coordinator under head coach Dan Quinn.[49] He had been negotiating for the same role with the Las Vegas Raiders before talks fell through.[50]

Personal life

Kingsbury was born in San Antonio, Texas. His father, Tim Kingsbury, is a Vietnam War veteran and Purple Heart recipient. Kingsbury's mother Sally died in 2005 of soft tissue sarcoma. He graduated from New Braunfels High School where he was starting quarterback. [51] Kingsbury graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in management from the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech.[52] [53]

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Texas Tech Red Raiders (Big 12 Conference) (2013–2018)
2013 Texas Tech 8–5 4–5 6th W Holiday
2014 Texas Tech 4–8 2–7 8th
2015 Texas Tech 7–6 4–5 T–5th L Texas
2016 Texas Tech 5–7 3–6 T–6th
2017 Texas Tech 6–7 3–6 8th L Birmingham
2018 Texas Tech 5–7 3–6 T–7th
Texas Tech: 35–40 19–35
Total: 35–40


Team Year Regular season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
ARI 2019 5 10 1 .344 4th in NFC West
ARI 2020 8 8 0 .500 3rd in NFC West
ARI 2021 11 6 0 .647 2nd in NFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Los Angeles Rams in NFC Wild Card Game
ARI 2022 4 13 0 .235 4th in NFC West
Total 28 37 1 .432 0 1 .000


  1. ^ "Sally M. Kingsbury Obituary (2005) San Antonio Express-News". Legacy.com.
  2. ^ a b c "Texas Tech Athletics". texastech.com. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Winnipeg Blue Bombers - Kliff Kingsbury". Archived from the original on October 17, 2007. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  4. ^ "Kliff Kingsbury Bio". Texas Tech University. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  5. ^ "2013 Football Media Supplement" (PDF). Texas Tech University. p. 65. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e "New York Jets Bio". Retrieved November 26, 2007. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Kliff Kingsbury Stats". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  8. ^ "Official 2003 NCAA Football Records Book" (PDF). NCAA. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  9. ^ "Kliff Kingsbury". sports-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  10. ^ "Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech, QB, 2003 NFL Draft Scout, NCAA College Football". draftscout.com. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
  11. ^ "Kliff Kingsbury RAS". ras.football. January 6, 2020. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
  12. ^ "Huge List of Wonderlic Scores by Position". wonderlictestpractice.com. March 14, 2020. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
  13. ^ "2003 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  14. ^ "Players: Kliff Kingsbury". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  15. ^ "New York Jets at Denver Broncos - November 20th, 2005". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  16. ^ "Long Read | QB Tandems". February 3, 2018.
  17. ^ "Former Texas Tech Star Kingsbury Joins UH Staff". Fox26 Houston. August 3, 2008. Retrieved August 4, 2008.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Kliff Kingsbury - University of Houston". FootballScoop. 2010. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
  19. ^ "Kliff Kingsbury". Texas A&M University.
  20. ^ "Kingsbury Named FootballScoop.com OC of the Year". Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
  21. ^ "2012 Broyles Award Finalists Announced". Rotary Club of Little Rock. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  22. ^ Texas Tech hires Kliff Kingsbury. ESPN, December 12, 2012.
  23. ^ a b SportsCenter [@SportsCenter] (August 29, 2014). "Kliff Kingsbury & Texas Tech agree to new contract worth $9.1 million in 2015, w/ $200K raise each year through 2020" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  24. ^ Christy, Pete (December 13, 2012). "Kliff Kingsbury hired as new Texas Tech football coach". KCBD. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
  25. ^ "COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Tech's Webb named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week". Midland Reporter-Telegram. October 14, 2013. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  26. ^ "Associated Press Top 25 Poll". Associated Press. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  27. ^ Fox, David (October 20, 2013). "Big 12 Week 8 Recap and Awards". Athlon Sports Communications. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
  28. ^ "Three repeat as AP All-Americans". Associated Press. December 17, 2013. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
  29. ^ "Webb's 4 TD passes tie Holiday Bowl record". ESPN. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
  30. ^ "The Campaign For Fearless Champions". TexasTech.com. Texas Tech University. August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
  31. ^ "2016 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  32. ^ "2016 Texas Tech Red Raiders Schedule and Results". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  33. ^ "2016 Texas Tech Red Raiders Stats". Sports Reference. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  34. ^ "2017 Texas Tech Red Raiders Schedule and Results". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  35. ^ "FBS (I-A) Team Defense Statistics - 2017". ESPN. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  36. ^ "Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt: Kliff Kingsbury will return next year". Dallas Morning News. November 25, 2017.
  37. ^ "Houston at Texas Tech Box Score, September 15, 2018". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  38. ^ "Texas Tech at Oklahoma State Box Score, September 22, 2018". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  39. ^ "Texas Tech football record". Texas Tech Athletics. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  40. ^ "2018 Texas Tech Red Raiders Schedule and Results". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  41. ^ "Texas Tech announces head football coaching change". KLBK. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  42. ^ "Kliff Kingsbury Coaching Record". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  43. ^ McCollough, J. Brady. "Cardinals president says Kliff Kingsbury had to resign from USC before interviewing for NFL jobs". LA Times. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  44. ^ Urban, Darren (January 8, 2019). "Cardinals Hire Kliff Kingsbury As Head Coach". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  45. ^ "NFL's recent coaching hires prove the 'Sean McVay Effect' is real". Rams Wire. January 8, 2019. Retrieved October 23, 2022.
  46. ^ Mitchell, Walter (August 15, 2020). "Kingsbury Owes Much to McVay". Revenge of the Birds. Retrieved October 23, 2022.
  47. ^ Urban, Darren (March 2, 2022). "Steve Keim, Kliff Kingsbury Receive Contract Extensions". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved March 2, 2022.
  48. ^ "Ex-Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury joins USC as offensive analyst". ESPN. Retrieved February 10, 2024.
  49. ^ "Washington Commanders name Kliff Kingsbury offensive coordinator". Washington Commanders. February 5, 2024. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  50. ^ Kerr, Jeff. "Commanders hire Kliff Kingsbury: Magic Johnson helped lure offensive coordinator to Washington, per report". CBS Sports. Retrieved February 12, 2024.
  51. ^ Shnell, Lindsay (September 24, 2014). "Beyond the image: Kliff Kingsbury's path to Texas Tech and back again". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
  52. ^ "Texas Tech Athletics Coaching staff". www.texastech.com.
  53. ^ "USC Trojans coaching staff". www.usctrojans.com.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kliff Kingsbury.
  • Washington Commanders bio
  • Kliff Kingsbury at IMDb
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NCAA major college football annual passing yards leaders
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