Bart Enis 1-on-1 with Kliff Kingsbury
One challenge that has consistently dogged Texas Tech is geography. Nearly 300 miles from Dallas and more than 500 miles from Houston, the two largest cities in Texas, it is the most remote of all BCS schools in the state.
To remedy that, head football coach Kliff Kingsbury and his staff have spent the last week on the road, bringing Texas Tech, and their brand of west Texas swagger, to the rest of the state. The coaches are conducting a pair of camps in the Houston area as part of a six camp swing across the state.
“We know it’s a little bit of a drive to get to Lubbock so we know it’s better to bring the product to them,” Kingsbury said. “We’re trying to make it easy on them to get out there and see out coaches and get to know them a little bit and see what we’re about.”
The camp is high energy, with music pumping across the fields and coaches enthusiastically putting the kids through the drills.
“We want them to see we’re high energy and wanting to have fun,” Kingsbury said. “That’s the way we all coach so I think it’s imperative that they see that side and enjoy themselves while they’re out there.”
Over 100 kids came to the camp Thursday to put themselves in front of the coaches. Some were already recruiting targets, some were on the Red Raiders radar while others were trying to catch the eyes of the coaches.
“It’s been good,” Kingsbury said of the number of high school players attending the camps. “East Texas was a great turnout and I think in Dallas we had 150 kids each so they’ve been showing up. It’s been hot but they’ve been there.”
Many of the coaches, including Coach Kingsbury, need no introduction to fans of Texas Tech, though. They saw them on the field wearing the double-T.
“Any time there’s change people get excited,” Kingsbury said of his and his staff’s arrival in Lubbock, replacing Tommy Tuberville. “Bringing back six coaches that played there, the fan base has really been fired up so we’re trying to keep that up recruiting and show these kids what we’re all about and the product we’re going to put out there at Texas Tech.”
Houston is familiar ground for Kingsbury, who was an assistant at the University of Houston and then at Texas A&M under Kevin Sumlin before returning to the school he played at to become the head coach.
At 33, he’s one of the youngest coaches in college football, but he reminded the players, and their families of all that he’s accomplished on the sidelines over the past few years, first coaching a record-setting quarterback in Case Keenum at Houston and then as the offensive coordinator of the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy.
Texas Tech held a pair of camps in the Metroplex and for the first time ever in Longview before heading to Houston. There is one more camp planned for New Braunfels before the caravan heads back to the South Plains.