Kliff Kingsbury was fired this season by Texas Tech from his head coaching position. A highly respected offensive mind in the football world, Kingsbury was quickly picked up by Clay Helton to become the new offensive coordinator for the USC Trojans after an abysmal season which led to many USC fans calling for Helton to be fired. While the hiring of Kingsbury certainly made those fans much happier after they were outraged when Helton was retained — there were plenty of NFL teams taking notice of the chance to get Kingsbury.
Reports surfaced that NFL teams had been requesting to speak with Kingsbury regarding their head coach openings (Arizona and the New York Jets were two of them). However, it was also reported that the USC athletic director was denying those requests because the school didn’t want to lose Kingsbury before even coaching a spring practice.
While in the past few days, varying reports have surfaced suggesting Kingsbury may now be getting the chance to interview, there were first talks of him resigning from USC simply because the school wasn’t allowing him the chance to interview for a position in the pros.
The USC situation sets a poor example for the rest of the world. While anyone can understand not wanting to lose a valuable staff member — especially one who has only been on the job over a month — it’s wrong for schools or any employer to not give their employees the courtesy to have a chance to grow in their field. For Kingsbury to go from being a head coach to then accepting a coordinator position was a home-run hire for USC, and they can’t say they didn’t expect some other places would have interest in him.
Why not allow him to interview with NFL teams? There’s no guarantee he would actually be hired by any of those teams, or even if offered the job, would take it. Yes, it would be unfortunate for any employer to lose a highly valued employee, but it should also be a compliment for someone to lose an employee to an even higher status job. It’s a compliment to the school, the coach, and the head coach who was able to lure him back to a coordinator position in the first place. That goes for anything.