Ex-Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury joins USC as offensive coordinator, QB coach

Former Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury has joined the coaching staff at USC as Clay Helton's new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, per a team announcement. It is the first major hire for Helton after a sweeping series of staff changes last week. USCFootball.com of 247Sports reported last week that Kingsbury had "agreed in principle" to a deal with the Trojans.

Kingsbury, who was let go by Texas Tech on Nov. 25, has received plenty of interest from all across the football landscape -- both college and the NFL -- and his decision to join USC is a huge win for Helton. Kingsbury is still universally regarded as one of football's brightest minds, and his offenses at Texas Tech reflected that. The Red Raiders typically ranked among the top three in the Big 12 in points per game under Kingsbury's guidance. Even through injuries at quarterback, the 2018 Red Raiders scored 37.3 points per game. Texas Tech also routinely finished at or near the top of the Big 12 in total offense under Kingsbury, boasting the No. 1 offense nationally in 2016. 

Despite his offensive acumen, Kingsbury was never able to make Texas Tech complete enough to compete for conference championships. He finished with a 35-40 record, and was eventually replaced by Utah State coach Matt Wells. 

Following the conclusion of the regular season, defensive line coach Kenechi Udeze, defensive backs coach Ronnie Bradford and offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Tee Martin were all let go by USC. Quarterbacks coach Bryan Ellis also left, accepting a job as the new offensive coordinator for Tyson Helton and Western Kentucky. The turnover on the offensive staff and quick hire of Kingsbury should put the former Texas Tech coach in total control of the Trojans' offense, and he's got one of the best young quarterback talents in the country to lead it with soon-to-be sophomore J.T. Daniels. 

Kingsbury has a history with churning out record-breaking, elite quarterbacks, having coached Heisman Trophy winners Johnny Manziel as the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M and later Baker Mayfield at Texas Tech (though Mayfield won his Heisman at Oklahoma in 2017 after transferring from TTU). Additionally, former Red Raiders quarterback Patrick Mahomes went from a three-star recruit to a first-round draft pick with the Kansas City Chiefs, and has been lighting up NFL defenses (and fantasy football teams) on Sundays. 

With Daniels' ability and a loaded room of blue chip receivers, it shouldn't be hard for Kingsbury's Air Raid and Big 12-influenced offense to find similar success in the Pac-12.

CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

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