Wells is working at his best during trying times for his Red Raiders program
Texas Tech head football coach Matt Wells joined the Press Pass Podcast Monday morning. Wells expressed his thoughts on the current coronavirus pandemic and how his program is handling the trying situation among other topics. [Photo by Texas Tech athletics]
Editors note: Be sure to hear a lot more from Wells on Monday’s Press Pass Podcast with Craig Sperry and Kale Steed.
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@PressPassSports @KaleSteed on Twitter, as well as, Press Pass Sports on Facebook. The podcast is also available on Soundcloud and ITunes.
Like the rest of coaches out there, Texas Tech head football coach Matt Wells is witnessing his program go through a difficult time during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wells and his team completed only four spring practices before the sports world was shut down, while nervousness has set in if a college football season will even happen in 2020.
There’s no game-plan, or manual on how to handle the coronavirus situation that Wells can tell his staff or his players.
The best thing Wells can do is tackle every task in front of him with a positive attitude and lean on his team to be accountable.
The second year Red Raiders football coach has an optimistic mindset, and carries on at his best day to day. There are so many what if’s surrounding the world right now, the one Wells is controlling is the time the Big 12 allows he and his staff to meet with the team during Zoom meetings throughout the week.
Wells took time out of his schedule to speak with Press Pass Sports on a number of topics during this very informative Q&A.
You and your team got in four days of spring practice, but how much has changed since everything stopped, and what kind of impact is this going to have on the Red Raiders?
“It’s huge. I don’t know if we’ll know the impact for some time going forward. This is something that we’re all dealing with, and everyone in our league is dealing with. I know this time with our players is huge. In some ways I was still looking at this as year one in terms of setting the foundation. I believe culture is set in about the first two and a half years. This is hurting us right now. That development is done hands on and face to face. We’re a no excuse program, and you won’t get an excuse from us. It’s tough but we have to find a way to come out of this better.”
Can you go into detail on how important these Zoom meetings are and what it all entails?
“The Big 12 moved us up from two hours a week with the players to four hours a week. We had a team meeting Monday morning so we count that as part of it. We do unit meetings, coach (Keith) Patterson and coach (David) Yost will run them some, and there are some position meetings. Honestly, in the meetings right now, we’re focusing more on individual health, their families health, their mental state, just all those kind of things. We do talk football, like the workouts and running they need to do. Each position group is different. I’d assume the quarterbacks are into more ball than most of the rest. But we’re focusing more on relationships and the trust being built between the player and coach right now.”
How important is it to make sure and hold players accountable during this time?
“It’s tough. We talked about that during the team meeting Monday morning. This is the one time where it’s the ultimate player accountability. It’s also self accountability. You have to be accountable for the guy you see in the mirror each day. It’s something we have to be great at. We need to wake up, get in a routine, and get going.”
After being at Texas Tech for one season, what do you think of the Big 12 as a conference?
“I think we’re right in the mix, but we’re no we’re nowhere close to where we should be here at Texas Tech. It’s been documented on record that we didn’t have the offseason we should have had last year. Because of obvious circumstances it was very elementary last winter. This winter was a step up. Now we’re dealt with some adversity, and I very rarely talk about that in the world of football, but we’re in one throughout the world. But I think we’re in the mix of the Big 12. We went 0-5 in fourth quarter ball games. If you win two of those you’re in a bowl game. Poise, player accountability and mental toughness is what we’re missing right now. That tells me we’re not ready to win close games yet, and I don’t mind saying that. That’s where we have to get to.”
The Texas Panhandle can be overlooked in the state when it comes to recruiting, but you’ve done a great job of recruiting in this area. How important is the Texas Panhandle to your program?
“Let’s put one thing straight for people in the Texas Panhandle. It maybe overlooked for every Division I program except Texas Tech. We don’t overlook it. Defensive coordinator Keith Patterson recruits that area, and does a great job. He’s in there talking with the high school coaches, and we bring a lot of them down to Lubbock. We develop those relationships. We signed L.B. Moore (Tascosa) and John Holcomb (Wellington), we also have a handful on are team. We’re already into the 2021 class and I’ll tell you we’re looking at the 2022 class in the Texas Panhandle.”