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Kirby Hocutt has an opportunity to unify the fan base immediately

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If Matt Wells is to be let go at season’s end, there is no need to wait

Texas Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt - News Conference
Kirby Hocutt
Photo by John Weast/Getty Images

The Red Raider fan base is fractured and hurting. They are angry at the piling losses. Texas Tech football hasn’t been relevant since at least 2013 and that’s being conservative. 2013 was the last time Tech had won at least eight games in a season. Tech won nine games in 2012 so maybe that reaches relevancy for some fans that don’t agree with the previous sentence. It doesn’t really matter. It’s been a minute.

The hiring of Matt Wells wasn’t a popular hire. Most fans, and I mean a vast majority of fans, had not even heard of Wells prior to Kirby Hocutt’s announcement of his hire. However, as with any coaching change, the positive aspects of Wells’ coaching resume was presented and there was hope in the air for a new beginning. Tech baseball was coming off their third College World Series appearance and the men’s basketball team was on the precipice of a season that saw their first ever Final Four and National Championship game appearance when Wells was hired.

Hocutt told us he thought Wells interviewed in a similar fashion as Tim Tadlock and Chris Beard. At the time, both those coaches were beloved. Beard has since been likened to Judas as he has taken his talents to Austin. Tadlock remains and is still beloved if not even more so.

NCAA Baseball Tournament - Coral Gables Regional
Tim Tadlock

I don’t know what Hocutt is thinking or exactly what constitutes improvement in his eyes. However, if the firing of Wells is highly likely at the end of the season, it should probably go ahead and come now. Yes. You read that correctly.

I have written articles in support of Wells. I’m a fan of the man. I appreciate his character. I appreciate that he was trying to build the program the “right way”. I don’t apologize for that. I was certainly wrong on some predictions but I stand by what I said with the information that I had at the time. None of that really matters. We are where we are. I can admit when I’m wrong. It hasn’t worked out like I thought it was going to. It happens.

The main problem with the Wells “supporters” is that most weren’t actually supporters but rather “let’s give the man a chance”-ers. That’s probably not grammatically correct but I’m going to go with it. The crowd that wanted Wells fired yesterday was loud and vocal because they strongly believed in their stance. The other side wasn’t quite as sure if they believed and were more vocal about being tired of the negativity than staunch supporters of the potential future of the current head coach.

The fan base needs to be unified again. I’ve mentioned it more than once. We need to stop fighting with each other so we can go defeat our rivals (in-state or otherwise). It’s evident that the fastest way for that to happen is to go ahead and go our separate ways. It’s not you, it’s us. We just need to see other people. Let’s rally together and finish the season with hope of a new tomorrow and cheer for the young men that are proud to wear the Double T.

Texas v Texas Tech
Texas Tech helmet
Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

I understand this could be viewed as giving up on the season. You certainly don’t want to ruin the season for these seniors, especially the super seniors that came back to play another year for the scarlet and black that we love so dearly. Tough times call for tough decisions. I know that I’m an eternal optimist but I do believe that many fans would come back to support the team if Wells was let go. The “haters” would welcome the news and the “supporters” mostly weren’t completely sold anyway for the most part. Then it would truly be about the student athletes. That’s really who you feel the most for in times like this.

The lack of a coaching change now potentially brings a near half-empty Jones Stadium for the remainder of the home games. I don’t envy Hocutt right now. He has to weigh the choice of unifying the fan base or giving the student athletes a chance at that sixth win to gain bowl eligibility (albeit most think Tech will lose out anyway). He cares for both parties involved. I have yet to come across someone that has spent time with Wells that says he isn’t a good guy. Unfortunately, not all good guys get the girl, or in this case, the wins and the support.