Report: Kliff Kingsbury to join USC staff, work with quarterbacks

On3 imageby:Griffin McVeigh04/10/23


After a brief stint in the NFL, Kliff Kingsbury will reportedly be heading back into college football. However, he will not occupy a head coaching role and instead, will join the USC Trojans as an assistant coach under Lincoln Riley.

According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, Kingsbury is heading to Los Angeles to work with the program’s quarterbacks. Caleb Williams currently headlines the room but with how Riley has recruited in the past and since arriving at USC, Kingsbury will be working with some of the top players in the country.

“Former #Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury is expected to join Lincoln Riley at USC and work with the team’s quarterbacks, per sources,” Pelissero said. “So Kingsbury, who was part of the team that drafted Kyler Murray at No. 1 overall, now will coach another potential No. 1 pick in Caleb Williams.”

Kingsbury does have a history with USC, albeit brief. He spent a month as the offensive coordinator under head coach Clay Helton before gaining NFL interest. While interview requests were initially blocked, Kingsbury eventually resigned from his role and headed to the Arizona Cardinals.

Now, Kingsbury and USC come full circle as he will finally join the offensive staff. According to ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, his official title will be “senior analyst for offense.”

There is a West Texas connection between Kingsbury and Riley. Both were in the Texas Tech quarterback room during the 2002 season with then-head coach Mike Leach. The two have not worn the same colors since then but have been on opposite sidelines.

Riley was 2-0 as the Oklahoma head coach when Kingsbury was the Texas Tech head coach. That includes the famous 2018 game where both Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes had monster outings. Two of the top offensive minds in football were on full display.

USC quarterbacks to work with star-studded duo of Kingsbury, Riley

If Kingsbury stays with USC for a decent amount of time, he is going to be working with some highly-rated quarterbacks. Williams might have just won the Heisman Trophy but he will be just the beginning. Riley has a reputation for bringing five-star quarterbacks into his program and has no plans of stopping.

Malachi Nelson signed with USC during the 2023 cycle and is currently on campus going through spring practice. Once Williams leaves for the NFL, Nelson will be a candidate to be the next Trojans quarterback. Miller Moss is another top-100 prospect as well who will compete against Nelson.

Riley is currently going after 2024 Five-Star Plus+ Dylan Raiola as well. USC is battling Georgia according to the RPM, as the No. 1 overall player is going to have an intense recruitment. Adding Kingsbury into the equation only helps the Trojans’ pursuit.