5 Worst head coaching hires in Texas Tech football history

These five Texas Tech football head coaching hires proved to be disastrous for the Red Raiders.

Kansas State v Texas Tech
Kansas State v Texas Tech / John E. Moore III/GettyImages
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No. 1: Matt Wells had no business being a Big 12 head coach at Texas Tech and it showed

Sometimes, people luck into amazing opportunities. However, those people are almost always exposed as being unprepared for the moment and it quickly shows in their performance. Such was the case with Matt Wells, the worst head coach in Texas Tech football history.

He doesn't top this list because his winning percentage is the worst the program has ever seen (rather, it is just third worst at .433) or because he ran a great program into the ground (he followed Kingsbury in 2019 at a time when Tech had been to just three bowl games in six seasons). Instead, he tops the list because of his complete incompetence both on and off the field.

On Saturdays, Wells' teams were train wrecks. He guided them to just a 13-17 overall record from 2019 through the middle of the 2021 season and he went just 7-16 in Big 12 games. What's more, he even guided Tech to a loss at Kansas in 2019 at a time when KU was still the laughingstock of the NCAA. It was only Tech's second-ever loss to the Jayhawks.

Off the field, he was even worse though. His biggest sin was to alienate Tech's biggest donors, especially Midland oilman and former Red Raider offensive lineman Cody Campbell, the man whose name is now on the Jones AT&T Stadium turf. Granted, he didn't start off on great footing with Campbell given that Campbell was against Wells' hiring in the first place.

Still, Wells could have ingratiated himself to the man who almost single-handedly rebuilt the Texas Tech football program financially in the years since Wells left but he didn't. He also didn't win over the people of Lubbock, a populace that is always quick to welcome newcomers to their midst.

In fact, Wells couldn't even tell the people of West Texas what he liked about Lubbock in a 2021 edition of his weekly radio show. But the fact is, Wells never should have gotten the job to begin with.

As head coach at Utah State, he had manufactured only one winning season in the previous four years and he had an overall record of just 44-34 despite playing in the Mountain West. What's more, his 10-2 final season in Utah was built on the back of a first round NFL draft pick at QB who he lucked into, a guy named Jordan Love who now starts for the Green Bay Packers.

Wells was in over his head both football wise and culturally from the moment he got off the plane in Lubbock and it showed immediately. He remains the biggest mistake A.D. Kirby Hocutt has made at Texas Tech and as proof, the usually stubborn Hocutt fired Wells just half-way through Wells' third season in charge.

Wells had every opportunity to succeed. He had a program that had boosters waiting to pour millions into its coffers. He had a fan base desperate for a William Wallace to rally around. He had a roster that should have been competitive in the Big 12. However, he never could maximize any of those important factors as his incompetence showed through from almost day one. That's why he is the worst head coach in Texas Tech football history.

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