USC is expected to hire former Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury as the senior offensive analyst, according to a program source. Athletic on Monday. NFL Network first reported that the Trojans were hiring Kingsbury. Here’s what you need to know:
- Much of Kingsbury’s role involves game-planning, watching film with coach Lincoln Riley and being a part of quarterback meetings, the source said.
- Kingsbury was fired by the Cardinals in January after Arizona posted a 4-13 record in 2022.
- Prior to his four-year stint in the NFL, Kingsbury spent six seasons (2013-2018) as the head coach at Texas Tech, going 35-40 with the Red Raiders.
What this means for USC
This is technically Kingsbury’s second stint at USC. After being fired by Texas Tech in late 2018, he took the Cardinals job just a month later. It was considered a make-or-break hire for then-coach Clay Helton, so there was a real sting when Kingsbury left. The stakes are much lower this time around since Riley made the call, but Kingsbury is a good resource to have in the quarterback room and on the staff. — Morels
What is the state of USC’s quarterback group?
The Trojans obviously return Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams, but four-star prospect Miller Moss in the 2022 recruiting cycle and five-star signee Malachi Nelson in this latest cycle behind Williams. Having Kingsbury in the QB room in addition to Riley should really help their development. It also gives Williams a former NFL coach to work with. — Morels
Kingsbury, 43, finished his tenure in Arizona with a 28-37-1 regular season record and 0-1 postseason record.
In the Cardinals’ only winning season under Kingsbury in 2021, they ranked in the top 10 in the NFL in both scoring and total offense. Arizona finished near the bottom of the league in points scored and points allowed in 2022, but was without starting quarterback Kyler Murray for six games that season.
According to multiple reports in February, Kingsbury met with the Texans about the team’s offensive coordinator position before Houston ultimately hired Bobby Slovic for the role.
Riley led USC to an 11-3 record last season, his first at the helm. The Trojans lost their College Football Playoff hopes to Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game and suffered a late-game slump against Tulane in the Cotton Bowl.
(Photo: Joe Rondon/USA Today)