Texas Tech Football Notebook: How Zach Kittley Got His Start

Thanking Sonny Cumbie again.

Congrats to Joel Filiani for catching on with Washington State as the receivers coach. Former Red Raider footballer Eric Morris left Incarnate Word as their head coach to run the offense and is bringing Filani along.

I had never delved into the how and why Zach Kittley arrived at Western Kentucky and this from The WKU Herald’s Jake Moore is probably as good as you’re going to read. It goes from Kittley being a graduate assistant and if you needed to thank Sonny Cumbie yet again, it was apparently Wes Kittley encouraging Zach to go talk to Cumbie about being a volunteer and that’s whre it all started. Again, this is required reading and here’s a bit, the quote is from Wes about how Zach got his start:

“I have three boys and I knew pretty early when they grew up that he was going to be my coach,” Kittley’s father said. “His two older brothers were good athletes and he was too, but he always seemed to ask me more questions about training or the profession than his brothers. Zach was helping me with the track team as a freshman in college when one day he said to me, ‘Dad, I want to coach Football’. I said, ‘well, you need to go over to football and ask Sonny Cumbie [wide receivers coach for Texas Tech] that you want to volunteer to do anything he wants you to do and learn from him’. I knew the regiment at football would either make him or break him.”

“Sonny was gracious to take him on and Zach went to work and impressed him and the staff,” Kittley continued. “He stayed helping Sonny the first year and then Sonny left to take the TCU offensive coordinator job and [Texas Tech head coach] Kliff Kingsbury called me and told me how valuable Zach was to them and [that] he was going to take him as his GA and help with the quarterbacks. There is where the real learning happened. I believe when he got to run film study with Baker Mayfield, Davis Webb, and of course Patrick Mahomes he started to blossom. Kliff Kingsbury truly took him under his wing and let Zach do a lot to learn that offense.”

And Kittley was named the 24/7 Sports offensive coordinator of the year for the monster turnaround that WKU had as an offense and Bailey Zappe talked about what it’s like to run his offense:

“He calls his offense the Ferrari — and he hands me the keys before every game,” Zappe told Pro Football Focus recently. “He has this little joke that he says. He’s like, ‘Look, you got the keys to the Ferrari. Just don’t wreck it.’ It’s kind of a thing where we’re out on the field no matter what down or distance it is, I have the full range of the offense to check in or out of any play that I want. That’s kinda what makes it work.”

This is going to be pretty fun, right?

RedRaiderSports’ Ben Golan talked to the newest transfer commit, offensive lineman Cade Briggs:

“Yeah, it was definitely different for me (making the decision sight unseen). Obviously I would love to come out and I will be out there in early January with my family and go on a little visit.

The quarterback, Donovan Smith, we went to high school together and my parents know his parents pretty well. My mom gave him mom a call and he was Facetiming me and showing me around. I’ve been through Lubbock about twice, so I know the city a little bit. I haven’t gone in depth to Texas Tech but just choosing the style of offense and obviously playing on the interior, which is where I believe I belong. I think it fits me pretty perfect.”


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