USC football is the front-runner for coveted offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, according to a report from NFL.com’s Gil Brandt.
UPDATE: According to Ryan Abraham of USCFootball.com and Scott Schrader of TrojanInsider.com, the Trojans have reached an agreement to bring in former Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury as the new offensive coordinator.
However, Kingsbury’s agent, via Bruce Feldman on Twitter, denied the deal had been finalized: “It’s premature to say that any decision (by Kliff) has been made.”
For now it appears USC and Kingsbury are in a holding pattern. The wait is on for a decision one way or the other.
UPDATE 2: More conflicting reports have come in on Thursday.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com, just before 1:00 p.m., tweeted: “These things are never done until the ink dries, but I’ve been told USC and Kliff Kingsbury partnership has been agreed upon by both school and coach.”
That was countered almost immediately by NFL Draft analyst Benjamin Allbright who tweeted: “I suspect Kliff Kingsbury ends up with either the Cowboys or USC, but as of this moment absolutely nothing is agreed to per source.”
UPDATE 3: With nothing official announced as of Friday morning, Adam Rittenberg of ESPN at least reported that talks remain ongoing between the Trojans and Kingsbury.
“As of this morning, Kliff Kingsbury and USC are still working on a possible deal to make him Trojans’ offensive coordinator, according to a source very close to the situation. No agreement yet,” Rittenberg tweeted.
The search for USC football’s next offensive coordinator is on and there was potentially good news in that pursuit for Trojan fans on Wednesday.
According to Gil Brandt of NFL.com, USC is the front-runner to land former Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who is still considered one of college football’s brightest offensive minds.
“Was told by college HC that USC is now the clear front-runner for Kingsbury,” Brandt tweeted. “As these things tend to go, stay tuned. But for now, USC in drivers seat with OC opening.”
Adding to the fuel behind the Trojans chances of landing Kingsbury, Arash Markazi of ESPN hinted on Wednesday that Kingsbury will be on campus to interview for the job later this week.
Would Kingsbury actually take the job? Markazi suggested in another tweet that it’s not outside the realm of possibility: “He has a lot of options (NFL and college) but he loves L.A. and the beach. We’ll see.”
Kingsbury was removed as Texas Tech’s head coach after six seasons, going 5-7 in his final campaign. Though his head coaching career was not supremely successful, the Red Raiders’ woes were not on the offensive side of the ball. Tech’s offense never dipped below No. 26 in S&P+ during his tenure, regularly putting up big point totals with an Air Raid attack.
Though fans may be skeptical of a coach who led a high-powered Big 12 offense, Kingsbury also developed NFL talent like Patrick Mahomes, who had been a three-star recruit.
Brandt had previously reported that multiple NFL teams were interested in hiring Kingsbury as an offensive coordinator, so the coach is highly-coveted both in and out of college football.
If USC truly is in the driver’s seat, then it would lend weight to the Trojans seriousness about turning around the program after a 5-7 season. It’s difficult to identify a more high-profile and successful offensive mind currently on the market. Athletic director Lynn Swann and head coach Clay Helton would be making quite a statement by landing such a big fish.