Matt Wells (American football coach)
Matthew Scribner Wells (born August 10, 1973) is an American college football coach and former college football player. He is currently head coach at Texas Tech University. Wells previously served as the offensive coordinator and then head coach at Utah State University, where he was named Mountain West conference coach of the year in 2013 and again in 2018. He was named head coach of Texas Tech on November 29, 2018.
Wells at 2016 Mountain West Media Days
|Annual salary||$3.1 Million|
|Born||August 10, 1973|
Columbia, South Carolina
|Alma mater||Utah State|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|2007–2008||New Mexico (WR/RC)|
|2010||New Mexico (WR)|
|2011||Utah State (QB/RC)|
|2012||Utah State (OC/QB)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|1 Mountain West Mountain Division (2013)|
|2 Mountain West Coach of the Year (2013, 2018)|
College playing careerEdit
Wells was a redshirt freshman during Utah State's 1993 Las Vegas Bowl season. He played quarterback in 16 games during the 1994 and 1995 seasons at USU, passing for 2,013 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was on the 1996 Big West Conference co-championship team, but did not play in a game. Wells was a three-year letterman from 1994 to 1996.
Wells spent five years at the U.S. Naval Academy (1997–2001) as its quarterbacks coach, fullbacks coach and wide receivers coach. He also served as the junior varsity head coach and offensive coordinator for three years. From 2002 to 2006 he was tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator at Tulsa.
He had two coaching stints at New Mexico, serving as the Lobos' wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator from 2007 to 2008 and wide receivers and kickoff return unit coach in 2010. In 2009, Wells served as the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator at Louisville.
Wells has had at least one coach on his staff who later became head coach of another school. Josh Heupel became the head coach at the University of Central Florida after the departure of Scott Frost for the University of Nebraska. Heupel previously served under Wells in 2015 as the Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach.
Wells returned to his alma mater Utah State as the quarterbacks coach in December 2010. Following the 2011 season, USU offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin left the program to take a similar position at Colorado State. Wells was tapped as his replacement and helped to guide the team to the Western Athletic Conference championship in 2012. The Aggies finished the season with a record of 11–2, a 41–15 victory over Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, and ranked 16th in the AP Poll. Head coach Gary Andersen resigned shortly after the bowl win to become the head coach at the University of Wisconsin. On December 20, 2012, Wells was named the 27th head coach in the history of the Utah State football program.
Wells' 2013 season began with a loss to Utah, followed by consecutive victories. After a close loss to USC, USU posted a 2–2 record on the season. The Aggies won the next game, but dropped the next two to bring the team to a 3–4 record on the season. Their preseason Heisman hopeful quarterback, Chuckie Keeton, was injured in game six against BYU, and was lost for the season. After a loss to Boise State, the squad rebounded and won the final five regular season games. These victories gave them the Mountain West Mountain Division Title, and a berth in the inaugural Mountain West Football Title Game. Due to the team's performance, Wells earned the 2013 MW Coach of the Year. After losing a close contest at Fresno State, USU earned an invitation to the Poinsettia Bowl against #23 Northern Illinois. They defeated the Huskies for the school's 3rd bowl win on December 26, 2013 with an impressive defensive performance that held Heisman Trophy finalist's Jordan Lynch and the Huskies to 315 total yards and 14 points. USU finished the season ranked #12 in total defense and #7 in scoring defense.
The season again began with a 38–7 loss against the Tennessee Volunteers, but the Aggies rebounded with home wins against Idaho State and Wake Forest. Quarterback Chuckie Keeton was lost during the Wake Forest game after reinjuring his knee, but was replaced by second-string QB Darell Garretson, who had been the replacement starter the previous season. After dropping an overtime decision to Arkansas State, the Aggies came back to resoundingly defeat #18 BYU in Provo for the first time since 1978, by a score of 35–20. After opening conference play with a win against Air Force, Garretson was lost to a broken wrist in a loss to Colorado State, and replaced by third-string quarterback Craig Harrison, who was injured in the next game. Under the leadership of former scout team quarterback Kent Myers, the team went on to win the next four games, before losing to Boise State to claim a tie for second place in the Mountain Division. Utah State went on to play in the New Mexico Bowl, defeating UTEP 21–6. The Aggies again finished the season with impressive defensive statistics, ranked 12th in scoring defense and 30th in total defense, as well as achieving the second-best record in school history at 10–4.
USU statistics under WellsEdit
|Team Record||Head Coach||Offensive Coordinator||Defensive Coordinator|
|2012||26th||7th||11–2||Gary Andersen||Matt Wells||Dave Aranda|
|2013||49th||7th||9–5||Matt Wells||Kevin McGiven||Todd Orlando|
|2015||64th||61st||6–7||Josh Heupel||Kevin Clune|
|2016||107th||73rd||3–9||Jovon Bouknight/Luke Wells||Frank Maile/Kendrick Shaver|
|2018||3rd||38th||10–2||Frank Maile/Keith Patterson|
On November 29, 2018, Wells was hired by Texas Tech as head football coach, signing a six-year contract.
Head coaching recordEdit
|Utah State Aggies (Mountain West Conference) (2013–2018)|
|2013||Utah State||9–5||7–1||1st (Mountain)||W Poinsettia|
|2014||Utah State||10–4||6–2||T–2nd (Mountain)||W New Mexico|
|2015||Utah State||6–7||5–3||T–2nd (Mountain)||L Famous Idaho Potato|
|2016||Utah State||3–9||1–7||6th (Mountain)|
|2017||Utah State||6–7||4–4||T–4th (Mountain)||L Arizona|
|2018||Utah State||10–2||7–1||T–1st (Mountain)||New Mexico*|
|Utah State:||44–34||30–18||* Did not coach bowl game|
|Texas Tech Red Raiders (Big 12 Conference) (2019–present)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title or championship game berth|
Wells, a native of Sallisaw, Oklahoma, has one brother and two sisters. His father Jim was a dentist, and his brother Luke was hired as the Utah State co-offensive coordinator/tight end coach in 2013 and followed Matt to Texas Tech in 2019 as the Tight Ends/Inside Receivers Coach Wells received his bachelor's degree in business marketing from Utah State in 1996, graduating cum laude. He and his wife, Jen, have two daughters, Jadyn and Ella, and one son, Wyatt.
- "Matt Wells College & Pro Football Statistics - Totalfootballstats.com". www.totalfootballstats.com.
- "Matt Wells Profile". UtahStateAggies.com. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
- "Matt Wells Named Utah State University Head Football Coach". UtahStateAggies.com. December 20, 2012. Retrieved December 20, 2012.
- "Utah State QB Chuckie Keeton (knee) done for the year".
- "Utah State's Matt Wells Named Mountain West Coach of the Year, While 14 Aggies Earn All-Conference Honors".
- "Utah State 2017 Schedule – Aggies Home and Away – ESPN". ESPN.com.
- "Utah State vs. Northern Illinois – Box Score – December 26, 2013 – ESPN". ESPN.com.
- "Scoring Defense - FBS Football Statistics - NCAA.com". NCAA.com.
- "Utah St. QB Keeton (knee) likely out for '14".
- "Utah State vs. BYU – Game Recap – October 3, 2014 – ESPN". ESPN.com.
- "Utah State vs. UTEP – Game Recap – December 20, 2014 – ESPN". ESPN.com.
- "Total Defense - FBS Football Statistics - NCAA.com". NCAA.com.
- "2014 Utah State Aggies Schedule and Results". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 2017-11-14.
- "cfbstats.com - 2018 National". www.cfbstats.com. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
- "Matt Wells named Texas Tech head football coach". KLBK/KAMC. November 29, 2018.
- "Utah State football: Coach Matt Wells' energy, effort helped direct his career".
- "utahstateaggies.com – Luke Wells Bio – Utah State Official Athletic Site – Football".