Zach Kittley Returns to Texas Tech as Offensive Coordinator
When Kliff Kingsbury stalked the sidelines for the Red Raiders as head coach and play-caller, he had a shadow. Not in the Peter Pan sense, in the apprentice sense. That shadow was Zach Kittley who graduated from Texas Tech, a former Frenship Tiger and son of Wes Kittley, National Championship-winning track and field coach for the Red Raiders.
Kittley was on staff with Kingsbury from 2013-2017 before he was hired at Houston Baptist to be their offensive coordinator. Kittley started as a graduate assistant and worked his way up to assistant quarterbacks coach, a position he held from 2015-2017 where he helped develop Patrick Mahomes and Nic Shimonek.
Chris Level of redraidersports.com has also reported that Kittley returns to Lubbock with a three-year deal. No numbers have been released, but I'd assume the price will be similar to what Sonny Cumbie was making as offensive coordinator. Even with less experience, Kittley was in high demand, with reported offers on the table from Miami, Auburn, and Indiana.
Kittley's offenses have been electric since he left Lubbock, but his lone season at Western Kentucky lit the world on fire. Bailey Zappe, the Hilltoppers' quarterback, threw for the most passing yards in the NCAA this year and is only 263 yards shy of breaking BJ Symons' record of yards in a single season. Zappe is also just four TDs shy of Joe Burrow's record of 60 from 2019.
WKU did run the ball too, but at a production of 5-to-1, it's about as close to the Air Raid that still exists in college football.
When Kittley was hired at Western Kentucky, his former boss Kliff Kingsbury had some high praise.
"He is incredibly sharp and is definitely one of the brightest young minds in the game," Kingsbury said. "That was obvious early at Texas Tech and he did a tremendous job for us; I know he had a big impact on Patrick Mahomes and was critical to his development. His dad is a legend in Lubbock because of the success he has had coaching Track & Field at Tech. I know Zach was a really good hoops player, but I'm glad he chose to coach football because the game is better with sharp, young coaches like him in it."
Kittley's offensive line coach at Western Kentucky is also a former Red Raider, so don't be surprised if Stephen Hamby joins Kittley on his pilgrimage home to Lubbock.