/Cardinals turn to Kingsbury as next head coach

Cardinals turn to Kingsbury as next head coach

TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals have hired former Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury to be their next head coach, the team announced Tuesday.

Kingsbury will receive a four-year deal with a team option for a fifth year. A news conference to introduce Kingsbury is set for Wednesday.

Kingsbury, 39, will replace Steve Wilks, who was fired on Dec. 31 after one season (3-13) in Arizona.

Kingsbury was fired by Texas Tech on Nov. 25 after seven seasons, including six as head coach, and was hired by USC to be its offensive coordinator on Dec. 5. Kingsbury also interviewed with the New York Jets for their head-coaching vacancy.

In Kingsbury, the Cardinals get a coach with a reputation for having success with quarterbacks. Kingsbury, who won the Sammy Baugh Trophy as the country’s best collegiate QB while at Texas Tech in 2002, has coached Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, Denver’s Case Keenum, the Giants’ Davis Webb, the Chargers’ Nic Shimonek and former Browns first-round pick Johnny Manziel.

At Texas Tech, Kingsbury’s team ranked fourth in offensive efficiency in the two full seasons when Mahomes, the breakout Chiefs star, was the starting quarterback. Only Oklahoma (first), Clemson (second) and Western Kentucky (third) were ranked higher in that span.

Arizona will hope that offensive success will carry over to the NFL.

With the Cardinals, Kingsbury will be paired with quarterback Josh Rosen, whom the team drafted 10th overall in 2018 but who struggled during his rookie season, throwing for 2,278 yards, 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions while completing 55.2 percent of his passes in 14 games. Rosen had four of the 10 worst Total QBR games in 2018.

Kingsbury spent three years in the NFL, from 2003 to ’05, with the New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and Jets. He completed one of two career pass attempts for 17 yards, in Week 11 in 2005.

Kingsbury then went on to play in the CFL in 2006 and ’07 before starting his coaching career at the University of Houston in 2008.

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