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The Kingmakers – No. 3

Zach Kittley – Offensive Coordinator, Western Kentucky University

Son of Texas Tech all-time great, and track and field legend, Coach Wes Kittley, Zach found himself in a unique position in the Spring of 2013. Fresh off the news of Texas Tech hiring Kliff Kingsbury as its head coach, Kittley knew he wanted to be a part of the football program.

“When Coach Kingsbury got hired.. it was something I wanted to do. I loved the offensive side of the ball, the creativity. Luckily, I was good family friends with Sonny Cumbie , and he got my foot in the door. I’m very blessed to have known Coach Cumbie, and definitely grateful for Coach Kingsbury and all he’s done for me.”

As a grad assistant in 2013, and eventually an assistant quarterbacks coach, he helped oversee and orchestrate some incredible offensive seasons and explosive playmakers. Learning from Tech greats like Kliff Kingsbury, Sonny Cumbie and Eric Morris, as well as getting to work with Patrick Mahomes and Davis Webb, helped form Kittley into one of the great up and coming offensive minds in college football. In 2015, Tech’s offense was 2nd in the nation in total and scoring offense. In 2016, Tech led the nation in passing and total offense and 5th in scoring offense, which helped Patrick Mahomes get drafted 10th overall and Davis Webb to be a 3rd round pick.

In the opener of the 2020 season, Kittley came back to Lubbock. Just on the opposing sideline. And while, Kingsbury and crew were no longer there, getting a chance to coach against Texas Tech was no less special. “That’s my alma mater. It’s where I got my coaching start”, Kittley said. Houston Baptist went on to torch the Texas Tech defense as Kittley’s offense racked up 567 passing yards and nearly came out of Lubbock with a win, losing 35-33. It was the most pass yards ever given up by and FBS team to an FCS team.

While Texas Tech looked disappointing in victory, Houston Baptist and Zach Kittley looked impressive in defeat. Houston Baptist would only play four games in the shortened season, but put up offensive numbers that were staggering: 1800 yards passing, 15 touchdowns, one interception. It didn’t take long for FBS teams to come calling.

On December 14th, 2020, Western Kentucky University announced the hiring of Kittley as their offensive coordinator. Not only was it a major get for the Hilltoppers, but Kittley’s quarterback at Houston Baptist, Bailey Zappe, followed him to WKU and looks to get Kittley’s offensive off the ground quickly in 2021.

When asked of Kittley’s hire at WKU, Kliff Kingsbury said, ” He is incredibly sharp and is definitely one of the brightest young minds in the game. I know he had a big impact on Patrick Mahomes and was critical to his development.

Should be an exciting year for Kittley and the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky, as Texas Tech continues to produce some of the best coaching minds in the game.

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