What’s Next for Kliff Kingsbury?


Kliff Kingsbury | Image by Chris Coduto/USA TODAY Sports

Kliff Kingsbury was fired as head coach of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals on Monday morning after four seasons at the helm.

Arizona hired Kingsbury in January 2019 after being fired as head coach at Texas Tech and briefly taking the offensive coordinator job at the University of Southern California.

The Cardinals only finished above .500 once during his tenure and lost their only playoff game to the Los Angeles Rams last season. They followed that with a disappointing 4–13 season this year, igniting many off-season changes for the franchise.

Kingsbury had signed a contract extension through 2027 at the end of last offseason.

The former Texas Tech head coach and standout quarterback has become a popular name in coaching circles at all levels, leaving many to speculate on his next move.

Some have suggested that Kingsbury’s best course of action might be to become an NFL offensive coordinator. A few have gone so far as speculating on which teams may offer the right fit.

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer is one of many who have suggested a match with the New England Patriots.

“I do think he’s somebody the Patriots would look at as far as if you’re looking at somebody who might be able to move things forward a little bit and has different ideas to inject into what you’re doing,” he wrote in a piece about New England’s potential change.

New England drafted Kingsbury in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL Draft, so a relationship with Bill Belichick already exists. The Patriots might be looking to make a change as their offense became one of the statistically worst units in the league.

Another link that has been suggested is with the Los Angeles Rams.

Bruce Feldman of The Athletic tweeted over the weekend about Kingsbury and his potential connections to the team and the area.

“Something to keep an eye on with the Cards firing Kliff Kingsbury: Heard some talk this weekend in coaching circles that IF Sean McVay stays with the Rams, Kliff may come back to L.A. (he was on staff at USC for a quick minute before the Cards hired him) joining the Rams staff.”

The Rams are another team that regressed offensively in 2022, and their offensive coordinator left for the same position at the University of Kentucky, so they have the need. However, McVay has been rumored to be considering taking a hiatus from coaching, which would change the situation.

Others believe Kingsbury would be best served returning to the college ranks as a head coach or doing what many others have done in similar situations throughout their careers: join Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama.

Saban’s staff has often been referred to as a “rehab” destination for once-successful and promising coaches to regain traction in the industry. Over the years, this approach has worked for many, including Lane Kiffin, Steve Sarkisian, Doug Marrone, and Mario Cristobal.

Current offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien may be the next example, as he has been rumored for several college and professional positions. O’Brien’s previous success rebuilding a fallen Penn State program earned him a shot in the NFL as head coach of the Houston Texans, and Saban brought him to Tuscaloosa when Houston fired him.

Yet, others are not convinced Kingsbury wants to jump right back into coaching.

“He has made a lot of money. In college, in professional football, in other places, he is rich, and considering the year he has had, I am not so sure that Kliff Kingsbury is going to be dying to get to a sideline near us,” the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said on Monday.

“If I had to guess, I would say the next time we see him is probably some Instagram account in Ibiza.”

Another option could be broadcasting. Many former coaches in his shoes have chosen that route, and his experience as a player and coach can be invaluable as a network analyst.

Urban Meyer, who won multiple championships with college teams, now works with Fox Sports on the Big Noon Kickoff pregame show. Former Florida and Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen works as an analyst for ESPN, former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is an NFL analyst for Fox, and others before them have made the switch.

If you enjoyed this article, please support us today!

Formed in 2021, we provide fact-based, non-partisan news. The Dallas Express is a non-profit organization funded by charitable support and advertising.

Please join us on the important journey to make Dallas a better place!

We welcome and appreciate comments on The Dallas Express as part of a healthy dialogue. We do ask that you be kind. Kind to each other and to everyone else in your comments. For more information, please refer to our Complete Comment Moderation Policy.

Subscribe to Comments
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments