David Yost is out of a job, and Matt Wells is spared at least for one more year. With the constant dumping of rumors into circulation, this might have surprised some. But realistically, this was always the most likely option. It also makes the most sense, firing a second year coach is expensive and such an unnecessary risk unless you know your next hire is the second coming of Dabo Sweeney.
But what comes now? Can Matt Wells bring in a hire that is capable of revitalizing what used to be the most dominant offense in the Big 12?
The out of reach
Graham Harrell - Harrell is one of Tech’s favorite alums, and he has an extensive coaching history at this point in his career. I don’t need to defend his credentials when USC does it far better in his coaching bio:
“In 2019, USC’s offense averaged 455.4 total yards (335.8 passing) and 32.5 points— significant improvements from 2018, when the figures were 382.6, 249.1 and 26.1—while ranking in the national Top 25 in completion percentage, passing offense, passing efficiency, total offense, third down conversions and first downs. The 2019 Trojans also set school season pass marks for total passing yards (4,365), completion percentage (71.0%), completions (365) and attempts (514).”
Yeah, he did this with a true-freshman quarterback. The obvious problem is his million dollar salary and the clear lateral move to return to Texas Tech. While theoretically, naming him head coach-in-waiting might persuade him, Wells is not bringing in a guy who only came because he thinks Wells will fail.
The bad options
Art Briles - I only even address this to state the obvious, HELL NO. Yes, obviously he wants the job. I too want a 6 figure salary and a prestigious coaching job. Water is also wet. But no, he should never return to major coaching. If he does, it should not be at Tech.
Sonny Cumbie - Guys, TCU fans hate this guy. Most of their fans points to the lack of development from Duggan and the play-calling as what is wrong with their offense. I don’t want to bring in a guy who is currently failing at his job, and neither should anyone else. They run a really boring version of the spread, and we just got rid of a guy doing that.
The best options
Garrett Riley - SMU offensive coordinator and mastermind behind a very good SMU attack, Riley is an obvious choice for a promotion. Shane is not a great quarterback, he is not bad, but he is nowhere near a star. Yet despite that, SMU is a top 25 kind of offense. They put up a lot of yards, and a lot of points. Watching them play his scheme is really top notch, and looks to exploit flaws in opposing defenses instead of just trying to set up the same nonsense over and over. This would be a homerun kind of hire for Tech.
Willy Korn - Coastal Carolina is unbeaten, and Mr. Korn has a big hand in that effort. I like the idea of bringing in winners. No program can ever have enough winners, especially when the current culture is full of losers. Coastal runs a ton of variations on the two back approach, which with Tech’s backfield would be a great addition. Add in far more talented receivers like Ezukanma, and Willy could run his variation on the RPO and just really beat up opposing defense. I love the idea of this hire, but he does lack any connection to Tech which for some reason matters.
This hire is critical for Wells to get right. Falter here and the 2021 season will sputter, and he will be looking for a new job. Succeed, and there is a chance we can all enjoy Tech football again.