Former Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury has no interest in coaching for the 2023 season, according to FOX Sports’ Peter Schrager.
In a bizarre twist, Kingsbury, who was fired by the Cardinals shortly after the season, turned down multiple teams contacting him about a job on the coaching staff. The reason? He bought a one-way plane ticket out of the country.
According to Schrager, Kingsbury bought a ticket to Thailand and won’t be coaching anytime soon. In fact, Schrager quoted Kingsbury.
“No, I’m good,” Kingsbury reportedly said according to Schrager.
Kingsbury was hired by the Cardinals prior to the 2019 season after coaching Texas Tech for six seasons. He went 28-37-1 in four seasons with just one playoff appearance (2021) when his team went 11-6.
However, the 2021 campaign took quite a dip since Arizona started 7-0 and quarterback Kyler Murray looked like an MVP candidate. The Cardinals lost to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Wild Card round.
Kingsbury’s selling point at Tech, despite being fired and going 35-40 as a head coach, was the development of Patrick Mahomes into the nation’s gaudiest passer and the No. 10 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Obviously, with Mahomes, the rest was history. For Kingsbury, the development of a future Super Bowl champ and likely multi-time MVP was impressive enough to land him a spot in the Big Leagues.
Kingsbury’s 2022-23 Cardinals team got a raw deal on the injury front. Murray went out in the middle of the year, leaving backups Trace McSorley and Colt McCoy to try and lead Arizona down the stretch. Then a slew of other starters missed significant time, leaving the Cards with barely any semblance of their starting roster by the end of the year.
Kingsbury began his coaching career in 2008 with the University of Houston as a quality control coach. He was promoted co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2010 and eventually left for Texas Tech for the same role in 2012.
From there, Kingsbury was the head coach for the Red Raiders and Cardinals.
As far as what’s next for the Cardinals, the team received permission to talk to former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton.”What I am willing to do financially is get the best coach and the best GM,” GM Michael Bidwill said. “I don’t know (that) the biggest name correlates to the best coach, so I guess what I would say is I definitely want to make sure that we get the best coach.”