Texas Tech football adds Mark Tommerdahl to coach special teams

STILLWATER, OK - NOVEMBER 12: Place kicker Clayton Hatfield
STILLWATER, OK - NOVEMBER 12: Place kicker Clayton Hatfield /

Friday, the Texas Tech football program announced the addition of Mark Tommerdahl as the new special teams coordinator to replace Joe Lorig, who left Lubbock for the same job with Penn State.

It did not take Texas Tech football head coach Matt Wells long to find a new special teams coordinator.  Just a day after it was announced that Joe Lorig had left the Red Raiders to coordinate special teams at Penn State, Wells hired one of the most highly-respected special teams coaches in the nation, Mark Tommerdahl.

The long-time assistant coach spent the 2018 season coaching special teams at Purdue after doing the same under Wells at Utah State the previous season.  With Purdue (as well as at numerous other coaching stops), he also coached tight ends, something that could be beneficial for a Texas Tech program with a renewed dedication to that position group.

But his pedigree is in the kicking game because for 23 of his 34 years as an assistant coach, Tommerdahl has coached special teams at a very high level.  According to Tommerdahl’s Purdue bio, prior to his season at Utah State, he spent four seasons at Cal where kicker Matt Anderson set a school record in scoring and tied a single-season record with 22 field goals.  Hopefully, his expertise with kickers is able to translate to Texas Tech where three new kickers (including two freshmen) will be competing for the primary kicking job this year.


From 2009-2012, he was at Louisiana Tech where he helped guide punter Ryan Allen earn back-to-back Ray Guy Awards as the top punter in the nation.  Additionally, he has had stints at Texas A&M, Alabama, TCU, New Mexico and Minnesota.

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What’s more, Tommerdahl has a reputation for being a top recruiter with strong connections to Texas.  In the 2019 recruiting cycle, he was the primary recruiter for running back King Doerue from Amarillo, who was a top Texas Tech target.  In fact, the vast majority of his top all-time recruits, according to 247 Sports, are products of the Lone Star State.

This is certainly a nice addition for Wells who has had to replace two members of his initial staff before the beginning of spring practice.  Just last week, wide receivers coach Jovon Bouknight jumped ship for the same job at Oregon.  And just like with the special teams position, Wells took little time in finding a replacement in former Red Raider wide receiver Joel Filani who had been in the same position at North Texas.

The Red Raiders open spring practice on March 3rd and Tommerdahl will play a key role.  He must not only lay out his special team’s schemes and begin to identify the players he wants to man those units, he must also help new tight end and JUCO signee Travis Koontz begin to get acclimated to the system of offensive coordinator David Yost as Koontz is expected to play a key role in the offense this fall.

Next. Joel Filani returns home to coach wide receivers. dark

Many fans were a bit disheartened by the fact that Tech had two assistants bolt for greener pastures just weeks after being hired, and certainly, the optics of those losses were not great.  But in bringing aboard a coach with the pedigree of Mark Tommerdahl, Matt Wells seems to have make a fantastic addition to his coaching staff.