USC Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Those in the college football world were shocked by the news that a former NFL head coach was going back to his old roots.

NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero reported Monday night that former Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury is expected to take a job with the USC Trojans, working with quarterbacks as a senior offensive analyst. 

Kingsbury will make his long-awaited return to Southern Cal. He was hired by the program to be their offensive coordinator after being let go at Texas Tech in 2019. Reports then surfaced that the Cardinals and New York Jets had an interest in interviewing Kingsbury, but were blocked by then-Athletic Director Lynn Swann, as Kingsbury had already signed a contractual agreement. 

One month into his new role, Kingsbury would resign from his post. He interviewed with both the Jets and Cardinals, with the latter team making him their head coach. He spent four seasons with the Cardinals (2019-2022) and compiled a 28-37-1 record with one playoff appearance.

Kingsbury was reportedly going to take the year off from coaching amid interest from several NFL and Power Five teams to be their offensive coordinator. After being fired in Arizona, he bought a 1-way ticket to Thailand as he contemplated his future.

Obviously, Kingsbury, who has been renowned for his work with quarterbacks, couldn’t resist the temptation and has returned to the college game. He’s worked with quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield, Johnny Manziel, Josh Rosen and Kyler Murray, and now will get to work with the reigning Heisman Trophy winner in Caleb Williams. 

The college football world reacted to the huge Southern Cal coaching news on social media:

[Tom Pelissero on Twitter]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.