What seemed like the inevitable happened yesterday. After six seasons, Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt relieved head coach Kliff Kingsbury of his duties as the head football coach. I thought that this was a very tough press conference for Hocutt, Kingsbury and Hocutt are friends and I think that Hocutt recognizes the relationship that Kingsbury has with the University.
Hocutt said that he made the recommendation to Texas Tech president Lawrence Schovanec on Saturday evening, that Hocutt met with Kingsbury, and then met with the team to break the news. Hocutt’s comments during the press conference was one where I thought that Hocutt did not enjoy the specific job that he had yesterday:
“He is a good man who has worked very hard and has represented us in a first-class manner,” Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt said in a Sunday afternoon press conference. “He epitomizes class and he is a Red Raider. I truly wish him the best in all his future endeavors.
“He gave everything he had. This is his alma mater. He gave everything he had. It’s just unfortunate it didn’t work out.”
Hocutt said that his decision was based on a three-year pattern of inconsistency, although I tend to think that if Kingsbury wins the last two games (Kansas State AND Baylor), we’re not having this press conference. I digress.
As far as Kingsbury’s replacement (we’ll get to the list shortly), but Hocutt said that he wanted someone with integrity and represent Texas Tech with class:
– “We want a man with the highest amount of character, integrity – somebody who’s going to represent Texas Tech University with class. Somebody who is able or will assemble a staff that is able to recruit the state of Texas. Someone who has experienced success within the game of football, especially college football. And somebody that is able to build an elite program that is defined by winning and winning the right way. That is who we are. That is what we expect and we’ve built elite programs in many of our other sports that we’re experiencing right now. We’ll do it in football as well.”
And if you still want to shed a few tears, then this from Texas Tech basketball head coach Chris Beard is pretty great.
Every day I talk to our team about successful people with work ethic, toughness, dedication, loyalty, integrity, discipline and unselfishness. Tomorrow I will talk about my friend Kliff. #4:1 pic.twitter.com/R3yKGqa4K8
— Chris Beard (@CoachBeardTTU) November 25, 2018
From KLBK’s Eric Kelly, this was the most emotional moment from yesterday’s press conference.
Still thinking about the emotion in Kirby Hocutt’s demeanor today when talking about Kliff Kingsbury. As Tech turns the page to a new coach, you can debate whatever you want about his on-field performance, but man he had an impact on those he interacted with on a daily basis pic.twitter.com/twgMTgpnKQ
— Eric Kelly (@EricKellyTV) November 26, 2018
And Everything Lubbock’s David Collier put together a 6 minute story about Kingsbury’s return that I thought was good.