College Confidential

Texas Tech’s Kingsbury fires back at Strong’s steamroll comment

Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury speaks during Big 12 football media day.
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury speaks during Big 12 football media day. Star-Telegram

When Texas coach Charlie Strong told the UT faculty earlier this week that his program, once turned around, would “steamroll everyone,” well you could practically predict the eye rolls coming from other Big 12 precincts.

So let’s go out to Lubbock for Texas Tech’s spring practice. Following Wednesday’s workout, Red Raiders coach Kliff Kingsbury was informed of Strong’s “steamroll” comment and was asked if he would ever drop such bold statements on Tech’s faculty?

Kingsbury, wearing his trademark black sunglasses, white visor and black coaches jersey, seemed generally amused. He flashed a smile, cocked his neck and said: “He said that? It’s not April Fool’s yet is it? He just cut it loose? I didn’t see that. Yeah, I would not make those statements. But hey, to each his own.”

In case you missed Strong’s comments, here’s what he told about 100 members of the schools’ faculty council: “What’s going to happen when we flip this thing? Where are we going to be then? You think about what we’re doing right now, what’s going to happen when we really get it turned? They might as well move out of the way, because we are going to steamroll everyone. That’s going to happen.”

Entering Year 3, Strong, having gone 11-14 in his first two seasons, really has no choice but to go bold or go home. Kingsbury’s seat isn’t nearly as hot as Strong’s even though Coach Cool hasn’t exactly lit it up in Lubbock.

Kingsbury received a contract extension in 2014 that takes him through 2020, so the Tech administration seemed at the time to take a vow of patience to get the program up to a level where it can contend for league championships on an annual basis.

This season will be a big one for the New Braunfels native, who helped the Tech program surge a decade-and-a-half ago under Air Raid mastermind Mike Leach. Kingsbury heads into his fourth season leading the program with a .500 record (19-19) and looking to get back to at least the eight wins he managed as a rookie head coach.

Since then, Tech has gone 4-8 and 7-6. Kingsbury’s biggest problem has been on the defensive end. If he can shore that up in 2016, maybe the Red Raiders will get to do some steamrolling of their own.

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