The Texas Tech Red Raiders hired two-time Mountain West Coach of the Year Matt Wells from Utah State Aggies.
Over the last six seasons, Wells amassed a 44-34 record at Utah State, where he also played quarterback from 1993 to 1996.
From QB to QB
Texas Tech fired a former college quarterback turned head coach and then hired a former college quarterback turned head coach.
Kliff Kingsbury broke school records and set NCAA passing records as the Red Raiders quarterback from 1999 to 2002. Kingsbury helped bring Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense to fruition in Lubbock, Texas.
Texas Tech hired Kingsbury in 2013. After six seasons, they pulled the plug on Kingsbury. The Red Raiders suffered a third losing season in a row and fired Kingsbury after a 5-7 record this season.
Tech tapped another former college QB to coach the QB-happy school. Alumni include Patrick Mahomes, who has been obliterating the NFL in his first full season as a starter with Kansas City.
“Quickly in the interview process, it became clear Matt Wells and his leadership style were a perfect fit to lead our football program,” said Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt. “We have a great future in store under Coach Wells, and I firmly believe he is the right coach to take us to an elite level. We are thrilled to welcome Coach Wells and his family to Lubbock.”
As a quarterback at Utah State in the mid-1990s, Matt Wells started one full season in 1994 and threw 11 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. He was nowhere close to the same ability as Kingsbury, a former Heisman Trophy hopeful.
“I am excited to meet the team and get to work on building an elite program that Red Raider fans will enjoy every Saturday,” said Wells.
Matt Wells got his coaching start at the U.S. Naval Academy. Football is a serious deal at the serious academies. At Navy, Wells coached the quarterbacks for five years.
Most young coaches pay their dues. Wells paid his and then some. He bounced around in the 2000s. First with Tula. Then stint with New Mexico, Louisville, and back to New Mexico.
In 2011, Wells landed a job at Utah State as the quarterbacks coach. The next season he was installed as offensive coordinator.
On the Road to Lubbock
In 2013, Utah State Aggies tapped Wells to become their head coach. In six seasons, Wells went 44-34 with three winning seasons.
Wells won the Mountain West Coach of the Year for the first time in 2013 when he guided them to a 9-5 record and a win in a bowl game.
Wells took the Aggies to four Bowl berths (not including this season). He’s 2-2 in bowl games with wins in the New Mexico Bowl and Poinsettia Bowl.
Wells went 10-2 this season with a 9-1 record in the Mountain West. For a second time, Wells won Mountain West coach of the year.
Less than a week after Tech fired Kingsbury, they announced the hiring of Wells.
Texas Tech searched for several big-named candidates for a new coach. Matt Wells topped the list that also included Seth Littrell from North Texas and Oregon’s defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt.
Mike Leach, current Washington State head coach and former coach at Texas Tech, mentioned he would be interested in returning to Lubbock.