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The Kingmakers – No. 1

An update on the Texas Tech coaches in the NFL

It’s been widely known, but hardly thought about, that Texas Tech has put out some incredible coaches both at the collegiate and pro level. But what is most surprising is the number of coaches that attended Texas Tech as students and not, necessarily, as part of its coaching staff. While checking the coaching landscape it’s hard not to run into a coach who attended as either an undergrad or grad student. From Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma to Dave Aranda at Baylor, to Sonny Cumbie at TCU, to Graham Harrell at USC, college football is littered with fearless champions. What’s even more surprising is the number of coaches entering the professional ranks, as NFL organizations look to get some of the best and brightest football minds to bring their team success.

Notable alum coaching in the NFL:
Mike Smith 2001-2004
Kris Kocurek 1998-2000
Wes Welker 2000-2003
Anthony Lynn 1988-1991
Kliff Kingsbury 1999-2002

This season, “The Kingmakers” series, will be taking some periodic looks at the two head coaches on this list, Anthony Lynn and Kliff Kingsbury, as they continue to drive innovation and develop some of the top players in the league.

Anthony Lynn – Los Angeles Chargers

Anthony Lynn is entering his 4th season as head coach as the Los Angeles Chargers opened the 2020 season on the road against the Bengals and 1st overall pick, Joe Burrow.

The Chargers had a new starting quarterback for the first time since 2006, in Tyrod Taylor, while Joe Burrow got most of the focus both leading up to and during the game with his 23 yard touchdown run. However, it was the Chargers who overcame a touchdown deficit, scoring 10 unanswered points in the 4th quarter to earn the victory 16-13. The win gets Lynn’s record up to 27-23.

Kliff Kingsbury – Arizona Cardinals

The talk of the off-season was the Arizona Cardinals after a much improved 2019 campaign that saw Kingsbury and Co. orchestrate a 41.1% improvement in total offense from the previous year. Coupled with the arrival of standout wide receiver Deandre Hopkins in a trade with the Houston Texans, and many national pundits though Arizona might be a sneaky pick for the postseason.

Arizona opened the 2020 season on the road against the defending NFC champion, San Francisco 49ers, who also have three Texas Tech alums on their team, Kris Kocurek and Wes Welker as position coaches, and Kerry Hyder as a defensive lineman.

The 49ers were a 7 point favorite entering the game and after jumping out to a 10-0 lead, Arizona outscored San Francisco 24-10 the rest of the way to secure their first victory of the season.

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