GLENDALE, Ariz. - After firing Steve Wilks following the final game of a dismal 2018 season, the Cardinals are in full search committee mode looking to hire their next head coach.
According to Monday reports, a new name may have just jumped to the top of the list, former Texas Tech head football coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Kingsbury was fired in November after a losing season. He quickly took an opportunity with USC as an offensive coordinator.
Once the NFL season ended, Kingsbury's name started popping up for potential job openings in the NFL, including offensive coordinator spots and even head coach positions. But, USC was denying those teams permission to interview Kingsbury in an attempt to hold on to their new offensive mind.
According to several national reports Monday, that is no longer the case, which means Kingsbury likely resigned at USC to pursue NFL opportunities.
According to Adam Schefter, Kingsbury and the Arizona Cardinals have mutual interest in each other for the head coach spot.
A true Romeo and Juliet situation, as our own Matt Johnson points out.
Hopefully this version has a different ending.
Kingsbury coached the last six seasons at Texas Tech, leading the Red Raiders to winning seasons just twice. Prior to Texas Tech, he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Texas A&M and Houston.
Kingsbury was a quarterback himself at Texas Tech from 1988-1992 and played three seasons in the NFL, including one with the New England Patriots in 2003 when he served as Tom Brady's backup.
The 39-year-old is known for his high-powered offenses. Since he became an offensive coordinator in 2011, his offenses have scored more than 40 points per game while averaging almost 550 yards per game.
The Cardinals had the worst offense in the NFL last season, finishing dead last in nearly every category including points per game, yards per game, first downs per game and so on.
He also gets credit for developing Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who played three seasons under Kingsbury in Lubbock. Mahomes is now a favorite to win the NFL MVP award in his first year as a starter.
Kingsbury could come into Arizona with the opportunity to coach up a young quarterback in Josh Rosen and try to work his magic to reinvent a stagnant offense.
Reports also say Kingsbury is a candidate for the New York Jets head coaching spot and the New England Patriots offensive coordinator position IF Josh McDaniels leaves the team to take a head coaching job.