Texas Tech head football coach Kliff Kingsbury was in Tyler at Willowbrook Country Club on Monday, for the J.L. Gulley Jr. Annual Golf Tournament. After just one year in Lubbock, Kingsbury has become one of the coolest college football coaches in the nation.
"That's something you all (media) did," said Kingsbury. "I've just been myself. I don't know how that got going, but I just try to have fun with the my players and be myself."
Texas Tech men's basketball coach Tubby Smith is impressed.
"Being cool, but being good is the key," said Smith. "He's an outstanding young coach that has a great mind for the game. The way he handles those young players, that's the ingredients for championships."
When he's not hanging out with celebrities, the former star quarterback with the great smile is hip to the East Texas scene. Kingsbury is scoring big time talent. Whitehouse QB Patrick Mahomes is the latest prize.
"He's tremendous," said Kingsbury. "Very raw, a lot has to do with playing so many sports. He's never focused just on his technique and fundamentals. His upside is very high. He's a tremendous competitor. I can't wait to get around him and start to coach him up."
Kingsbury just hopes Mahomes ends up in Lubbock. The Texas high school player of the year could be selected in the MLB Draft later this week.
"I've been praying a lot of about it," said Kingsbury with a smile. "We'll see. He'll be in Tyler for the draft and I hope it all works out for him and I hope we get him at Texas Tech. It's a tremendous honor for him to even be in that position and he deserves it.
Mahomes wouldn't be the first East Texan to star under Kingsbury's guidance. The coach was Johnny Manziel's offense coordinator during his Heisman winning season. He expects Manziel to do big things in Cleveland.
"The greatest obstacles make for the greatest opportunities and that's how he's approaching it," Kingsbury. "They've (Cleveland) gone through a lot of quarterbacks that haven't been able to take them to prominence and if anybody can do it, that man can do it. He's the best college football player I've ever seen and I'm excited to watch and see how it goes."
In the meantime, the coach with the cool shades, will keep his eye on East Texas, hoping to find the next college football star.
"They play such a high level of high school football out here," said Kingsbury. "The high school coaching is as good as anywhere in the state. We're trying to get out here and sign as many as we can."