Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Big 12 [Print without images]

Friday, April 26, 2013
Kingsbury looks to build reputation on field

By David Ubben

Kliff Kingsbury became Texas Tech's coach on December 15, 2012, and since then, he's been everywhere without even coaching a game.

He's been featured in Sports Illustrated and the subject of a mass-circulated memo sent from a designer to the athletic department, suggesting he could be the face of the new, fashion-conscious college football head coach.

Kliff Kingsbury
New coach Kliff Kingsbury has already made an impact at Texas Tech without coaching a game.
He's thrown out the first pitch at Texas Tech baseball and softball games, drawing attention for wearing his signature Ray-Bans while he did it.

He definitely turned heads when his AD, Kirby Hocutt made it clear that Kingsbury was "never an Aggie," despite coaching at Texas A&M for a season, and did it again at his introductory news conference when he asked Hocutt to schedule a game with Cincinnati, who swiped ex-coach Tommy Tuberville in December.

Eventually (well, in a little more than five months), Kingsbury will actually coach his first game for his alma mater. But the attention he's received has already made an impact for the new head Red Raider.

"More, I guess embarrassing than surreal," Kingsbury said. "I’d like to actually do something on the field before all of this other stuff comes into play, but it’s part of the position, it’s part of the job, so I’m trying to just have fun with it."

That's what happens when you're not only the youngest coach in a major conference at 33, but fresh off coaching a Heisman Trophy winner in Texas and helping Texas A&M blossom into one of the brightest programs in the country.

The advantage for Kingsbury, though, is going through all of the changes at a place he knows well, and a place that has embraced him. He's not trying to fit in in a new place, and when you take a job serving a fan base with many who still refer to you as "The King," transitions like these are a lot simpler.

"Being at a place I feel comfortable with, around a staff that I feel comfortable with, has helped ease all of that," Kingsbury said. "A lot of familiar faces here. Know the community, know West Texas, and knowing the school has really helped."