Texas Tech fires football coach Matt Wells; search for replacement underway

Local Sports

LUBBOCK, Texas (KXAN) — Texas Tech head football coach Matt Wells was fired Monday after less than three seasons in Lubbock. The Fort Worth Star Telegram’s Mac Engel was the first to report the university’s decision Monday morning.

Offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie will replace Wells immediately as the interim head coach.

Texas Tech will be searching for its fourth full-time head coach since Mike Leach left the school in 2009. In less than three years in Lubbock, Wells is 13-17, failing to take Tech to a bowl game in his first two seasons.

However, Tech (5-3) is one win away from qualifying for a bowl game this year, but the program closes out the season with difficult games against Oklahoma, Iowa State, Baylor and Oklahoma State.

Texas Tech won’t be favored to win any of its remaining four games.

As for possible replacements, several Texas head coaches who are experiencing success during the 2021 season will immediately be at the front of the speculation.

UT-San Antonio’s Jeff Traylor has the Roadrunners at 8-0 this season. Sonny Dykes, the son of legendary Red Raiders coach Spike Dykes, is 7-0 at SMU this season.

“I don’t want to speculate at all about what candidates will or will not be of interest to the committee. I do believe that making this decision at this time allows for all speculation to end on if there was going to be a change and it allows us to move forward with our process. This has all transpired since this morning,” Tech Athletics Director Kirby Hocutt said.

Hocutt says a committee of Tech alums, along with the AD, will lead the coaching search.

From interim coaches Ruffin McNeil and Chris Thomsen to full-time coaches Tommy Tubberville and Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech has had five coaches since Leach.

The Red Raiders looked to Wells after firing Kingsbury following the 2018 season. The former Utah State head coach didn’t have many connections to the state of Texas when he became Tech’s 16th head coach in program history.

Texas Tech started the season 3-0 after non-conference wins against Houston, Stephen F. Austin and Florida International. The Red Raiders opened conference play with a 70-35 blowout loss to Texas in Austin. Starting quarterback Tyler Shough was injured against the Longhorns and hasn’t returned yet.

Wells is owed around $7 million for the remainder of his contract. Tech Tech plays at Oklahoma Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

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