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December 14, 2012

Kirby Hocutt

Kliff Kingsbury

BLAYNE BEAL:  Good morning and welcome to the United Spirit Arena here on the campus of Texas Tech University, where we come today to welcome home one of our own, the 15th head coach in school history, Coach Kliff Kingsbury.  At this time, it is my honor to introduce to you the man who helped make this happen in his second year of Director of Athletics at Texas Tech University, please welcome, Kirby Hocutt.
KIRBY HOCUTT:  Thank you.  Good afternoon.  It's a great time to be a Red Raider!  All right.  Welcome to the United Spirit Arena, as we formally introduce to you the new head coach of your Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Last Saturday, six days ago, we said we wanted to identify a winner.  Mission accomplished.  Last Saturday, we said we wanted to identify somebody who knows the fabric of West Texas, somebody who wants to be at Texas Tech.  Mission accomplished.
It is only very fitting that today, prior to graduation, we celebrate the homecoming of Kliff Kingsbury.  In just a few hours thousands of Texas Tech students will walk across this very stage and permanently join the Red Raider family as they receive their diploma.  Let us not forget that when Kliff Kingsbury walked across this very stage and received his diploma, he had just received the award as the Academic All American College Football Player of the Year.
Kliff is a great representative for our university, for our student body and our student‑athletes.  I do want to take a moment to thank the leadership of our great university for their continued trust, their continued support as we focus on educating, serving, and growing fearless champions.  The support, the trust, the leadership from Dr.Lawrence Schovanec, from Chancellor Kent Hance, as well as that from Chairman Jerry Turner, Vice Chairman Mickey Long, and fellow members of the Board of Regents allowed us to move through this process very quickly to get where we are today.  That is the beginning of a new chapter in a very proud history of Texas Tech football.
I have to confide in you.  There was only one time in the course of the last six days that I became concerned about finishing this process and securing Coach Kingsbury as our next head coach.  On Wednesday afternoon, Dr.Schovanec, Chancellor Hance and I, flew to Austin to meet with Kliff at the chancellor's home.  We arrived, and Kliff was there already, and we went into the chancellor's home, and we exchanged pleasantries.  We walked through the house, and we went to the back porch.  We wanted to see the view from behind the chancellor's home there, and it was beautiful.
There was not a person in sight.  There was not a sound around a half a mile from where we were.  But in that conversation as we were getting ready to go back into the house, the chancellor commented to me that he needed to check on the lawn service, because there were leaves on his back patio.  Nothing uncommon for this time of the year.  But the chancellor, with an eye for perfection, noted that, and you could tell he was not pleased.
We moved on from the back porch into the living room, where we took our seats.  Kliff was seated in front of a large window with about a 20‑foot shrub that had grown up.  It provided some shade for where we were sitting, and it provided some privacy.  I was seated to Kliff's right.  Dr.Schovanec was seated to my right, and to Dr.Schovanec's right was the chancellor.
Well, I opened the conversation with some thoughts, and then I asked Kliff if he would share his journey, and share his experience with the chancellor and the President.  About 30 seconds into Kliff starting to share his story, over his shoulder, this bush starts disappearing a foot at a time.  All I can see is this machete like instrument going whoosh, whoosh.
Dr.Schovanec and I make eye contact.  About that time, there are about three weed eaters, multiple lawnmowers, two blowers on the back patio, and I'm thinking, my goodness.  The Aggies have found us, and they're trying to ruin our day.
Well, just like we have seen multiple times we've watched Darrin Moore run to the corner of the end zone, and we've watched Darrin Moore make a leap above the cornerback and make an outstanding catch, the chancellor, from his seat, leaped higher than I've ever seen anybody leap before.  I thought it was Darrin Moore going up for a touchdown pass.  And in one fell swoop, the chancellor made some type of gesture to the lawn crew, and I in my whole life have never seen a lawn service complete their work with such speed and efficiency.  Chancellor, you saved the day, good work, and needless to say, the meeting went great.
Red Raider Nation, we ride together.  Since Wednesday, the pride and the excitement has been unlike anything I've ever seen before.  And as the Matador song says, "We, indeed, bear our banners far and wide."  This is our time.  This is our time to rise up higher than ever before.  It's our time to show this country how proud we are, and how special it is to be at Texas Tech.
Our future is bright.  Just this morning, our board of regents celebrated and honored Cody Davis for being an Academic All American.  Just this morning, our board of regents celebrated our women's soccer team for having their best season in program history and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.  And just this morning, our board of regents recognized and celebrate Kennedy Kithuka, our great cross country runner for winning the national championship.
Very simply, our goal is to be the best intercollegiate athletics program in the country.  And working together, working together we are going to get there.  Just as President Horn said in 1925, "Everything that is done on these West Texas plains ought to be on a big scale.  Let our thoughts be big thoughts and broad thoughts, and let our thinking be in worldwide terms."
Red Raiders, let's show our support to this year's football team.  Let's sell out reliant stadium on December 28th.  Simply said, we need you there.  Our football team needs you there, and as the Red Raiders have done each and every time, I thank you in advance for answering that call.  I thank you for being there on December the 28th.
What an exciting time to be a Red Raider.  One of the greats of all time is with us today.  E.J. Holub.  E.J. and his wife, Sandy, are with us.
Our new head coach, when he was a student‑athlete won the E.J. Holub Double Tough Award.  Double tough, E.J.  Yes, sir.
Red Raider Nation, welcome with me, your new head coach, Kliff Kingsbury.
COACH KINGSBURY:  Appreciate it.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Well, it's good to be home.  Let me tell you.  It's good to be home.  Now go ahead and have a seat.  I find it a little poetic today that it's a classic, windy, West Texas day, and I'm going on record that I actually enjoy the wind.  You'll never hear me complain about it.
Before I get started, I like to thank a bunch of people, obviously.  But Kirby, Mr.Hance, Dr.Schovanec, all the regents for giving me this opportunity to really live out my dream and become the head coach at Texas Tech.  It means the world to me, and I appreciate that opportunity.
These last two days, the support, the outpouring of support has been incredible.  It's made me feel at home.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate that from the fans.  Every former player that I've played against, when I meet them, the first thing they want to talk about is the fans at Texas Tech and how they hated playing there.  And that's a credit to Texas Tech nation, the Red Raider Nation.
We don't have the biggest stadium, but we have the rowdiest.  And I love that place and can't wait to get back in it.
The people of West Texas in general, you know, I've played football in three countries, nine different cities, and have found no finer people than that of West Texas.  It's a different type of person, friendly, warm, caring, and makes you feel at home.  And I'm so thankful to be back amongst y'all, so thank you.
When I got into coaching, I went to the University of Houston.  That was a business decision.  When I went to that other university, that was definitely a business decision.  But being here now, this is personal to me.  This is where I want to be.
This is a place that's helped shape me as a man.  It's given me so much.  All the best friends I have in the world I met at this place.  I'm just honored and humbled to be a part of this and be able to coach at your university, so thank you.
I'm going to bring in a young, energetic staff.  There will be some former Red Raiders joining me.  Some guys that care about this place and love this place like I do.  And we can't wait to hit the ground running and get this thing rolling again.  We're going to recruit hard.  I'm a guy that's always believed it's about players, not plays, and we have to hit the state hard, and we're going to do that.  That's a big part of my mission here is to get that recruiting going and get some of the best players of the state out to the Texas plains.
We're going to believe in developing young men.  That's why I got into this.  I was fortunate to go on and play for a few years.  Football has been great to me, and I love giving back to this game.  I love recruiting good people, good student‑athletes, and people that y'all will be proud of after they're done playing and going on to be productive members of society.  That's my main goal being here.  Thank you.
As far as the football goes, I'm more of a walking‑type guy, not a talking‑type guy.  So I'll let you all see that in the fall.  But it's going to be an exciting brand of football.  We'll be attacking on both sides of the ball, we'll play with confidence.  The kids are going to have fun.  They're going to have swagger, and you'll enjoy this next year's team.  I promise you.
Like Mr.Hocutt said, that bowl game is a huge deal.  Those seniors have been through two coaching changes, they've been through a lot.  They've given up a lot.  We owe it to them to sell that bowl game out and have a good showing there.  So everybody make sure y'all go to that bowl game and watch us win that game.
The last thing I'll say, I'll be brief, I just want to thank y'all so much for coming out.  I can't tell you how much this meant to me.  It was hard leaving that other university.  I had built a great relationship with those players, but this, the outpouring I've seen, I mean, this is where I'm always meant to be, and I can't tell you how thankful I am.
One last request I have with Kirby, I was going to see if there's anyway possible we can get Cincinnati on the schedule next year?

Q.  Now that you've had a few days to kind of digest it a little bit, what is the biggest challenge that you see yourself facing moving from offensive coordinator to head coach?
COACH KINGSBURY:  I haven't had time to really think about it.  I do know it's a situation that's not broken.  As a 7‑5 team, could have easily been 10‑2, 11‑1, so I'm excited about it.  There's tons of talent there, and I look forward to great things next year.

Q.  You're a guy that I've seen past interviews of you where you enjoy playing football.  Football has been your life.  Playing in the NFL has always seemed to be a goal for you.  Now you're back coaching.  How proud is your father for where you are?  Did you see yourself being 33 being a head coach at Texas Tech?
COACH KINGSBURY:  My dad's fired up.  He sent me a text right after I got it, he said, "You mean I can throw all this maroon away now?"  So some of his greatest moments with my mom were coming out here.  They met some of the best friends in their entire lives out here watching me play.  So this means the world to them.
Like I said, just to have the opportunity to be back out here at a place that I love and give back to this place means the world to me.

Q.  To what extent will the offense look like the offense that you played in here under Mike?  How have you evolved it and put your own stamp on it?
COACH KINGSBURY:  It will be different.  We adapt to personnel everywhere we've gone.  In Houston, we led the nation in passing.  Last year we led the SEC in rushing.  We'll adapt to the personnel we have and play at our strengths.  Bottom line is scoring points and getting first downs, stopping people on defense and winning ballgames.  So we'll go from there.

Q.  I just want to ask you, the whirlwind, you were at the other university, then you were at the Heisman Trophy presentation.  Can you just kind of wrap up and sum up the whole year and a half, two years of what this has all been like for you?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Yeah, it's been a dream come true.  We've had some success these last two years and met a bunch of great kids.  But to end up here in this fashion, the way it all played out, some things are just meant to be, and I'm fired up to be here.

Q.  I know you haven't had much time here.  Can you talk about what you have at quarterback this year?  Lot of people excited about the future with Michael Brewer?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Yeah, I haven't looked at much of it.  I knew Michael in high school as a winner.  Won a bunch of state championships, and that's number one when you look at quarterbacks.  I'm sure there are other guys there.  I haven't had a chance to really examine it, but excited to get to work with that group.

Q.  Coach, can you talk about what you said to the team today, and the message you gave them?
COACH KINGSBURY:  I can't say exactly what I said because it would not be appropriate.  But I was just letting them know how proud and humbled I was to be back at the university that I love.  This is, like I said to you all, this is a personal deal for me.  This is a huge opportunity.  But even more so to get back to this place and try to make this place great, which is what it deserves.  It means the world.

Q.  Talk about what it means to you to come back here and try to get this thing back on track and be the guy to get Texas Tech back where they want it?
COACH KINGSBURY:  I don't think it's off track.  It's a great situation.  Red Raider Nation is always behind their people and their players.  So I couldn't have come into a better situation or greater support.  We have a really good team coming back next year.

Q.  What can we expect defensively from the Red Raiders?
COACH KINGSBURY:  We'll be an attacking defense.  We'll try to dictate what the offense does.  Haven't named a defensive coordinator yet, but that will happen here shortly.  But, yeah, it will be a lot of different looks, changing things up, and coming after people, very aggressive.
BLAYNE BEAL:  Thank you very much.  Welcome, Coach Kliff Kingsbury.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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