MATT WELLS

In six seasons as the Utah State head coach, Matt Wells had three seasons of at least nine wins. Now, the former Tulsa assistant is the head man at Texas Tech. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World


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Texas Tech notebook

Coach: Matt Wells (first season)

2018 record: 5-7, 3-6 Big 12

Big 12 season prediction: seventh

Wells says Sallisaw shaped who he is

Matt Wells’ mom will get to watch him coach more this season.

Wells was raised in Sallisaw, meaning his move from Logan, Utah, to Lubbock, Texas, put him a lot closer to home and his family. This will be Wells’ first season at Texas Tech after leading Utah State the past six seasons.

“Growing up in Sallisaw, Oklahoma, it’s 7,000 people on a good day,” Wells said. “If you’re not sure where everybody is on a Friday night, just look at the lights, which is like Oklahoma, which is like small towns. Just growing up there, I played three sports, and you grow up and that’s part of that culture of that town, and my parents raised us that way. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s a great place.

“I don’t get back there near enough, but it’s nice to be closer to home for my mom to come see us play a little bit, and a bunch of friends and high school coaches that have already made the trek down to Lubbock. But I think it shaped who I am, a small town guy, real simple.

Tech including tight end more on offense

Wells said the Red Raiders will include more tight end play in their offense this season but will make it a “hybrid” position, much like OSU has done with its Cowboy Backs.

“Tight end is a big part of our offense,” Wells said. “I think our guy’s a hybrid. You’re going to see our guys flex out, where it looks like a wide receiver and wide receiver formations. You’re going to see him in line, in the backfield, those guys have to be — they’re multi-faceted guys. They’ve got to be extremely smart, be able to run, be graceful, catch balls; hopefully they’re speed mismatches for linebacker and size mismatches for safeties. That’s what we want to get to.”

Wells ‘inspired’ by athletic department’s recent success

Tech fans have witnessed a lot of winning since Wells stepped on campus, but none of the victories came because of the Red Raiders new football coach.

The spring semester featured the Tech basketball team making a run to the NCAA Tournament finals and the baseball team advancing to the College World Series. Wells was asked Monday if he felt any pressure from all the recent success around him.

“I don’t think their success puts any more pressure on me or our staff or our program than the pressure that was on it on Dec. 1, to be dead honest with you,” Wells said. “I took the job, based on a lot of other factors and none of those were considered. I respect the question. I think it’s really good. I think more than anything it’s inspired me to see that it’s done and done the right way. Chris Beard coaches those guys like a bunch of football players. They’re tough. The emphasis on strength and conditioning and nutrition is similar to what we do. I think it’s inspired me.”

2019 Schedule

Aug. 31: Montana State (FSN) 3 p.m.

Sept. 7: UTEP (FSN) 7 p.m.

Sept. 14: at Arizona (ESPN) 9:30 p.m.

Sept. 28: at Oklahoma TBA

Oct. 5: Oklahoma State TBA

Oct. 12: at Baylor TBA

Oct. 19: Iowa State TBA

Oct. 26: at Kansas TBA

Nov. 9: at West Virgina TBA

Nov. 16: TCU TBA

Nov. 23: Kansas State TBA

Nov. 29: at Texas TBA