The Texas Tech football team has seen major changes in its coaching staff as the team is making a switch between former head coach Kliff Kingsbury to Matt Wells.
As head coach at Tech from 2013-2018, Kingsbury posted a 35-40 record, giving him the second-worst winning percentage in school history with a .467, according to sports-reference. In Big 12 play, Kingsbury led the Red Raiders to a 19-35 record. Kingsbury coached the team to three bowl games including the Holiday Bowl in 2013, the Texas Bowl in 2015 and the Birmingham Bowl in 2017.
In his time at Tech, Kingsbury only coached the Red Raiders to two winning seasons (2013 and 2015), according to sports-reference. The Red Raiders were nationally ranked in three seasons under Kingsbury with the best ranking occurring in 2013 when the team was ranked as high as No. 10.
Transitioning into Wells’ tenure as head coach, this will be his first-year coaching with Tech football team.
The Utah State football team was coached by Wells from 2013-2018, according to sports-reference. The Aggies had three winning seasons of the six under the guidance of Wells, as he posted a 44-34 overall record as head coach. Wells’ teams appeared in a bowl game four of the six seasons he was coaching including the Poinsettia Bowl in 2013, New Mexico Bowl in 2014, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in 2015 and Arizona Bowl in 2017.
Wells is coming off of his best coaching season as he coached the Utah State football team to a 10-2 record, being nationally ranked as high as No. 14, according to sports-reference. The season led to him being named the MWC Coach of the Year for the second time as he garnished the award in 2013 as well.
Prior to his termination after the 2018 football season, Kingsbury was an offensive-minded coach. He coached players such as Case Keenum, Johnny Manziel, Baker Mayfield, Davis Webb, Nic Shimonek and Patrick Mahomes, who have all made an appearance in the NFL. Freshman quarterback Alan Bowman decided to stay at Tech despite the coaching change for his sophomore season.
“I think it’s hard because when new coaches come in, they didn’t recruit you.” Bowman said. “They weren’t inside your house, they didn’t know you for so long until you just met them. In the last coaching staff, they knew who you were, they knew your mom’s name, your dad’s name, they knew your past and what you had. So, I think coming in with that new coaching staff, it’s kind of hard to still be yourself and not do too much for the new staff.”
Kingsbury ran an air raid offense and his was consistently ranked at the top of the national football rankings.
As Kingsbury took his coaching talents to the Arizona Cardinals, Wells has taken the Red Raider football team and started implementing changes since he stepped foot in Lubbock.
Wells quickly hired six new coaches to help guide the Red Raiders including outside receivers coach Jovon Bouknight, defensive backs coach Julius Brown, offensive line coach Steve Farmer, running backs coach DeAndre Smith, tight ends/inside receivers coach Luke Wells and strength and conditioning coach Dave Scholz. Wells also hired former Red Raiders Joel Filani and Mark Thommerdahl hours after receiving the head coaching position. He also hired new offensive coordinator David Yost and defensive coordinator Keith Patterson.
“I hired Joel Filani in 24 hours,” Wells said. “I hired Mark Thommerdahl in three hours. I’ve known Joel, never worked with him. Coach Yost coached with him at Washington State. Obviously, he and Antonio (Huffman) were teammates, they played together.”
Many think the air raid offense at Tech will die next season, but that doesn’t mean the team won’t be strong on offense. Yost will still have Bowman and a core group of receivers returning to lead the Red Raiders.
“Defensively (the scheme) is 100 percent new,” Wells said. “Offensively, there’s a decent amount of stuff that’s new, but I don’t know what (Kingsbury) called.”
With Yost and Bowman leading the offense, Wells will most likely improve the team on a defensive end. In his time at Utah State, his teams had an S&P+ top-50 defense every year, according to SBNation. If the Tech defense can make some improvements, the Red Raiders could be a force to be reckoned with in the Big 12.
“We got 20 hours a week, we’ll try to use them all,” Wells said regarding Bowman’s training in the new system.
Everyone can predict what they think will happen next season under the reign of Wells and his new staff but the first time fans will see how the Red Raiders look will be on Aug. 31. as Tech will take on Montana State at home.