In 2002, Kliff Kingsbury was a 23-year-old senior quarterback at Texas Tech, and Dana Holgorsen was a 31-year-old inside receivers coach who had his hitched his wagon to Mike Leach.
In 2008, Kingsbury and Holgorsen were assistant coaches together on Kevin Sumlin's University of Houston team; Holgorsen got Kingsbury the job and even let Kingsbury live with him.
Saturday, they meet as head coaches in a Big 12 game that could continue Kingsbury's meteoric rise or could salvage West Virginia's season.
“I wouldn't have gotten into coaching if it weren't for Dana. He played a big role in that,” Kingsbury said. “We're very close.
“Watching him, the way he game planned, the way he installed the offense ... I learned a ton under him when I first got into coaching.”
Kingsbury, with only five years of coaching experience, has been a home run hire for the Red Raiders. Tech is 6-0 and ranked 16th nationally.
Meanwhile, Holgorsen's course at West Virginia has gone the other direction. The Mountaineers won the Orange Bowl in Holgorsen's first season, 2011, but were 7-6 last season and are 3-3 this year.
But Kingsbury said Holgorsen was a valuable mentor.