Earlier this week, Texas Tech fired head coach Matt Wells after thirteen seasons. The move comes as the school looks to rebuild their program under new leadership moving forward.
Matt Wells is a former head coach of Texas Tech. He was fired after the team went 13-19 in his three seasons.
Matt Wells, the football coach at Texas Tech, has been sacked after two and a half years on the job.
In a Monday afternoon press conference, athletic director Kirby Hocutt said he talked with Wells that morning, admitting that Wells was startled and “didn’t agree with the choice.”
Despite Tech’s 5-3 record this season, Hocutt claimed Saturday’s defeat to Kansas State, in which the Red Raiders lost a 14-point second-half lead, showed that waiting was futile. Tech is 0-2 at home in Big 12 games this season and will almost certainly be the underdog in its last four games: at No. 4 Oklahoma, at home against No. 22 Iowa State and No. 15 Oklahoma State, and at No. 16 Baylor.
Since 2019, Texas Tech has gone 1-6 versus ranked Big 12 opponents under Wells. Only West Virginia (1-8) and Kansas (0-10) have had worse records over that time period.
“There’s no perfect moment to make a choice like this,” Hocutt said. “Given where we were, we thought it was unavoidable when we looked at the whole body of work in the program as a whole.”
Sonny Cumbie, who played quarterback for Mike Leach at Texas Tech from 2000 to 2004, will take over as temporary head coach. Cumbie worked as an assistant at Tech from 2009 until 2013, before moving on to TCU. This season, he’ll serve as offensive coordinator once again.
Wells went 13-17 in his third season at Lubbock after taking over for Kliff Kingsbury. In Big 12 games, he was 7-16, with just two victories coming against teams that ended with a winning record (in 2019 against an 8-5 Oklahoma State team and in 2020 against 6-4 West Virginia). Among coaches who lasted more than one season at Lubbock, Wells’.433 winning % was second lowest in school history, behind only Jerry Moore (.309 from 1981 to 1985).
“To take this program to the next level, we need someone with that desire, expertise, and talent,” Hocutt said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve been there. We’re all aware of it. We get irritated because we are aware of our capabilities. We’re not going anywhere. People will approach me and say things like, ‘Hey, you use the term elite.’ What’s more, guess what? We want to be exceptional,” says the narrator.
Dusty Womble, a Tech booster and regent who recently made a $20 million donation to the athletic department; former player and oil and gas executive Cody Campbell; former Red Raider running back Sammy Morris, who currently serves as the team’s assistant director of player support development; and deputy athletic director Tony Hernandez will serve on the search committee, according to Hocutt.
He said that he does not have a hiring timeline and does not want to speculate on potential applicants. Hocutt believes the Red Raiders will return to bowl games every season and remain contenders until November.
“We’ve been No. 2 in the nation before,” he added, alluding to Tech’s 11-week run in the top 10 under Leach in 2008. “Here at Texas Tech, we can do it again. All we have to do now is take the next step. We need to identify the person who can provide the missing piece of the puzzle that will enable us to take that next step.”
After last year’s 4-6 result in Lubbock, Wells came under fire. He replaced offensive coordinator David Yost, who he brought over from Utah State, with Cumbie.
“Nobody can put more pressure on me than I can put on myself,” Hocutt said. “I want to come out on top. I want to be able to compete. I like seeing young guys rejoice after achieving achievement. When we don’t, and aren’t, at the level that we want to be at, it breaks my heart. It rips these young guys to shreds. This coaching staff is slashed to the core.”
Wells has a career record of 57-51, including a 44-34 record at Utah State. After a 10-2 season with the Aggies, he was hired at Texas Tech.
This article was written with the help of the Associated Press.
Kliff Kingsbury was hired by Texas Tech on Tuesday, April 2nd. He will replace Matt Wells who was fired after the team went 13-14 for the season. Reference: kliff kingsbury.
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