The Arizona Cardinals ended their coaching search by hiring former Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury, the team announced Tuesday. The last-placed Cardinals began surveying the coaching landscape after parting ways with first-year head coach Steve Wilks, who led the team to a dismal 3-13 record.
Kingsbury signed a four-year deal with a fifth-year option, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Cardinals are giving new HC Kliff Kingsbury a four-year deal, with a team option for a fifth year, per league source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 8, 2019
Cardinals Hire Kliff Kingsbury As Next Coach
The Cardinals made their splash hire the same day as their former coach, Bruce Arians, came out of retirement to sign on with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Arians retired after the 2017 season and the Cardinals didn’t recover this past season. Kingsbury takes on a team with an offense that ranked dead-last in total yards and points scored. They averaged only 14.1 points per game in 2018, meaning the 39-year-old has his work cut out for him.
Kingsbury compiled a 35-40 record over the last six years as the head coach at Texas Tech. He oversaw the development of current NFL quarterbacks Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns, and Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, a favorite to win NFL MVP. Kingsbury was fired after a disappointing 2018 campaign, which saw the Red Raiders go 5-7. His version of the air raid attack proved prolific during his stint, finishing in the top-six FBS scoring offenses twice. His Texas Tech squad finished 2018 with the 12th ranked offense in the country, averaging 485.2 yards per game.
Cardinals general manager Steve Keim likely wanted to bring in someone to help young signal caller Josh Rosen develop. Kingsbury’s track record with quarterbacks proves to be promising.
.@AZCardinals expected to hire Kliff Kingsbury as head coach.
Kingsbury worked w/ some notable college & NFL QBs.
Josh Rosen ranked last in pass YPG (162.7) & passer rtg (66.7) in 2018.
According to Next Gen Stats, Rosen threw in tight windows on 21.6% of passes (most in NFL). pic.twitter.com/u50eyXe4Aq
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) January 8, 2019
Kingsbury became the offensive coordinator for USC after his firing but did not coach in a game for the Trojans. He begins his stint in Arizona with a young quarterback in Rosen and weapons such as running back David Johnson and receiver Christian Kirk. He’ll try to pair that with a talented defense led by edge rusher Chandler Jones to bring the Cardinals back to prominence.
Embed from Getty Images