USC hiring former Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury as analyst

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Kliff Kingsbury is headed to the USC Trojans. Again.

Kingsbury, who was briefly hired as USC’s offensive coordinator after the 2018 season only to leave for the Arizona Cardinals’ head coaching job weeks later, will become a senior offensive analyst on the staff of the ‘Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley, according to FOX Sports’ Bruce Feldman.

According to NFL Networkwho first reported the hiring, Kingsbury will work directly with the team’s quarterbacks in practices and meetings, including Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams and freshman Malachi Nelson, a five-star recruit and one of the consensus top overall prospects in the Class of 2023. USC does not have a designated quarterback coach on staff, as Riley usually works directly with that position group.

Kingsbury and Riley have a long history together dating back to their time as teammates and fellow quarterbacks at Texas Tech under the late Mike Leach in 2002. The two later coached in the Big 12 in 2017 and in 2018 after Riley took over for a long time. coach Bob Stoops at Oklahoma. Kingsbury returned to Texas Tech as head coach for six seasons before being fired in 2018.

USC’s hiring of Kingsbury in late 2018 was from former head coach Clay Helton, who was fired in September 2021. Two months later, Riley left Oklahoma to replace Helton at USC in a move that shocked the college football world. He led USC to an 11-3 record, a seven-win improvement, in 2022 thanks in large part to Williams, who followed Riley from Oklahoma through the transfer portal.

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Kingsbury coached the Cardinals for four seasons, but his partnership with quarterback and 2019 No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray, who won a Heisman Trophy with Riley at Oklahoma, ultimately proved unfruitful as the Cardinals reached in the playoffs just once during that span. .

It was previously believed that Kingsbury would take more time before returning to practice. FOX Sports’ Peter Schrager reported in January that Kingsbury bought a one-way ticket to Thailand shortly after being fired by the Cardinals.

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