Texas Tech has fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury, athletic director Kirby Hocutt announced on Sunday afternoon.
Hocutt said he believes Kingsbury is a good person and gave his total effort as the Red Raiders' head coach. However, the results on the field weren't good enough.
"This decision was based on a three-year pattern, a three-year pattern of inconsistency," Hocutt said. "We didn't come here to win 5, 6, 5, games; for our football season to end in November. ... We saw progress, but we also saw lapses of progress key, critical areas."
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal beat write Don Williams tweeted a list of candidates he has heard from sources within the Texas Tech athletic department. The top tier of the list includes Oregon defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt and Utah State coach Matt Wells, followed by Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables, Memphis coach Mike Norvell and West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen.
Kingsbury compiled a 35-40 record in his six seasons as Texas Tech’s head coach.
Following a 5-7 campaign in 2016, Hocutt brought back Kingsbury, who still had three years left on his contract. But, at the time, Hocutt insisted Kingsbury take a more active role in leading the Red Raiders' defense.
Texas Tech made strides on defense in 2017, improving by more than 100 yards a game in yards allowed, although that still left the Red Raiders ranking in triple digits in the nation in total defense.
However, that improvement on defense didn’t continue to trend upward, especially in the second half of this season. Texas Tech gave up 37.6 points per game and lost its last five contests.
Kingsbury will leave with a $4 million buyout according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
He’s likely to land on his feet as an offensive coach. Kingsbury’s Red Raider offense currently ranks 12th in the nation in total offense and fourth in passing offense. He kept Texas Tech’s offense churning out yards and points throughout his six seasons. And Kingsbury is heralded for having guided future NFL quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes, Case Keenum, Baker Mayfield, Johnny Manziel and Davis Webb.