WKU hires Zach Kittley as new offensive coordinator

Zach Kittley was introduced as WKU’s new offensive coordinator on Dec. 14, 2020 following the end of the regular season. Kittley most recently coached at Houston Baptist and Texas Tech. 

Matthew Hargrove

WKU has announced that Houston Baptist University’s offensive coordinator Zach Kittley will be the new Hilltopper offensive coordinator starting in 2021.

The announcement went out on Dec. 14, with a press conference from the new coordinator taking place today.

“I’ve known clearly about this football program for a long time and what they’ve been doing over the past decade. This is just a really great opportunity for me and my family, a step up in my career,” Kittley said.

Prior to making the trip out east, the veteran assistant spent three seasons with HBU where he led one of the best offenses in the FCS. 

During his time with the Huskies, Kittley led a high powered offense that scored 394.3-yards per game in 2018 and 426.6-yards per game in 2019.

This season, the HBU offense put together 459.5 passing yards per game and 88.5 rushing yards per game in four games played.

Most notably, Kittley is known for his time as a coach with Texas Tech University where he learned under Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury. 

“I’m really excited for Zach and this opportunity at Western Kentucky. He is incredibly sharp and is definitely one of the brightest young minds in the game. That was obvious early at Texas Tech and he did a tremendous job for us,” Kingsbury said.

Not only did Kittley learn from a great at TTU, but he taught a great as well in Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes.

Kiteley’s style of play with the Red Raiders and Huskies put a great impression on head coach Tyson Helton, which sparked a meeting about the OC position between the two a couple of weeks ago.

“Really excited to have the opportunity to hire Zach. I think he is a dynamic coach that’s gonna bring a lot of energy. Brings a new flavor to the table,” Helton said.

With the addition of Kittley, that leaves current offensive coordinator Bryan Ellis’ future uncertain. 

Ellis will still be at the position for WKU’s bowl game on Dec. 26, but if Ellis looks to remain with the Hilltoppers he will have to be coaching in another spot.

Ellis spent two seasons as the WKU offensive coordinator, where his offenses averaged just 20.7 points per game in that span. The Hilltopper offense ranked last in Conference USA this season. Scoring just 18.8 points per game.

When the new year hits in 17 days, the Kittley era will begin and the offensive coordinator can’t think of a better spot than Bowling Green to spend his 2021.

“I love it here. This seems like a really great place,” Kittley said. “What I love about it is everyone is so genuine and just genuinely just nice people. They’re down to earth, just really good people.”

Football beat reporter Matthew Hargrove can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewHargrov1