Full Circle: After A Brief Stint As OC In 2018, Kliff Kingsbury Finds His Way Back To USC

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Kliff Kingsbury is back in the college game. The former Arizona Cardinals head coach has accepted a position on the USC Trojans staff with Lincoln Riley.

Not only is Kliff Kingsbury getting back into college football, he will be working with the quarterbacks. According to multiple reports, Kingsbury is expected to be hired in an offensive analyst role.

One of the most intelligent quarterback coaches in football will now be working with reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams.

Kingsbury has an impressive résumé, working with two former No.1 picks, Baker Mayfield (Texas Tech 2013) and Kyler Murray. Now, the former Texas Tech head coach will get a chance to influence Caleb Williams, who has a chance to be the first quarterback taken in the 2024 NFL draft. He also worked with NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes while at Texas Tech.

GLENDALE, ARIZONA – OCTOBER 10: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Arizona Cardinals looks on against the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter at State Farm Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

In his four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, Kliff Kingsbury went 28-37-1, before being fired and heading off to Thailand. The news of Kingsbury being hired by USC is a fitting way to get back into coaching.

After being fired by Texas Tech in 2018, Kliff Kingsbury had a very quick stint at USC. After being hired by Clay Helton as the offensive coordinator on Dec. 5, Kingsbury took the Arizona Cardinals job 42 days later. So, things have come full circle for the prominent offensive mind.

His role will be clearly defined over the next week or so with Lincoln Riley.

Now, USC has two of the brightest offensive minds working on the same staff, as the Trojans make a run for a national Championship in 2023.

This Feels Like Lincoln Riley Pulling A Nick Saban

Alabama has had the reputation of bringing in the brightest minds of college football to work with Nick Saban. Did Lincoln Riley just mimic the legendary Alabama coach at USC? It certainly feels that way, with Kingsbury being a hot commodity in the coaching world.

Not only does Kliff get to use his talent to help the offense in Los Angeles, but the former Cardinals coach has the opportunity to dip his toes back into college football. Just like coaches Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian at Alabama, this move could end up presenting multiple opportunities for Kliff Kingsbury over the next few years.

Even though he could’ve taken OC roles at other schools or NFL teams, there certainly must’ve been intrigue for him to go a different route.

Kliff Kingsbury was previously hired as the USC OC in 2018
Kliff Kingsbury was previously hired as the USC OC in 2018

Let’s not forget, Kingsbury has also worked with Johnny Manziel and Case Keenum during his career. Now, the USC Trojans will be the team to benefit from his offensive mind.

Kudos to Lincoln Riley for putting this all together and getting Kliff Kingsbury back into coaching. Just by adding an offensive assistant, USC has the potential of making another run at the college football playoff.

Written by Trey Wallace

Trey Wallace is the host of The Trey Wallace Podcast that focuses on a mixture of sports, culture, entertainment along with his perspective on everything from College Football to the College World Series.

Wallace has been covering college sports for 15 years, starting off while attending the University of South Alabama. He’s broken some of the biggest college stories including the Florida football “Credit Card Scandal” along with the firing of Jim McElwin and Kevin Sumlin. Wallace also broke one of the biggest stories in college football in 2020 around the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations against Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

Wallace also appears on radio across seven different states breaking down that latest news in college sports.

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