Football

Hocutt and Schovanec Press Conference Thoughts

Yesterday Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt and President Lawrnce Schovanec met with the media to announce that head coach Matt Wells would return as the head coach.

The following is a non-transcript, which for those of you new to this party means that I typed as Hocutt and Schovanec talked, but these are not direct quotes. All items are from Hocutt unless noted.

Back to back 4-win seasons is not acceptable and on December 11th Hocutt and Wells met to discuss Wells post-season evaluation and that on Sunday, Hocutt, Wells, and Schovanec all met.

Believe that there was progress on the defensive side of the football, and will continue to make progress there. And am excited from a developmental standpoint, see how it works with Jordyn Brooks and progressing his game and the offseason developmental program and the talent bringing into the program.

The true freshmen, the transfers, and 2nd year players all making significant impacts. And believe in the changes that Wells will make to the program and become prolific and aggressive on offense.

It is a daily process, not an easy one and starts with recruiting and development, and investing in all of the areas needed to be successful. No short cuts. Have to talk about being great and elite and we’re not there in football, but can be as we are in other sports.

Wells knows the offensive philosophy he wants to instill and they committed to play and commit to Texas Tech and there is an offensive identity that Texas Tech wants to get back to and the incoming freshmen can help make that next step.

Want a winning program and an important critical piece is an aggressive down-the-field philosophy. Wells ideas for offensive philosophy is aggressive and proactive down-the-field philosophy that is expected at Texas Tech.

Have not met with a group of players other than interaction with players on a typical business day, there has not been direct communication with the team.

Going a different direction at head coach, focus has been on this team and Wells as the head coach and wanted to visit with Wells about the evaluation and with Wells in mind and assessment of the program and feels that he has the right man to lead the program and take that next step, it’s time to take that next step.

Wells will hire and be in charge of the search process for the offensive coordinator position. Ultimately that will be Wells’ decision.

Has been a financially challenging year at Texas Tech, a $25 million to $30 million revenue loss, had to make the best decision for Texas Tech, the financial resources were available, but never progressed to that point as believes in Wells and the changes in the coming months.

Were below the threshold on position groups in certain weeks but believe that the games were important, but no different than what every other program was dealing with.

Yes, defensive line was the position group that was exposed and 2 games that were below the minimum thresholds and 1 came down to a Friday.

Schovanec: He and Kirby communicate all of the time and especially the past 10 days, convey how important football is and how much Schovanec appreciates Hocutt.

Schovanec: Cannot deny that there’s been a lot of scrutiny and reason for presence is how confident he is on the decisions that Hocutt makes.

Have great admiration for the young men and fought through the final whistle. Playing in a pandemic and in a violent game is a lot. Offensively, this year, did not produce as expected and as Wells evaluated, has to be better offensively. Proud of the players and all that they did, ultimately Wells had to make a decision in the best interest of the football program.

Pat of Wells’ post-season evaluation that Wells brought to Hocutt on Friday when Wells was in quarantine and was part of his evaluation and what he wanted to do moving forward. Wells’ evaluation and assessment continues and reviewing and thinking what the football program does. His evaluation continues and looking at all aspects of the program year round and has an impact on the program.

My thoughts:

  • This feels disjointed and odd at best? This feels like Kingsbury’s reprieve after winning the Texas game and receiving that year extension.
  • I’d like to tell you that I have complete confidence in what’s going to happen, but I really don’t. Normally I’m at least optimistic and I don’t have those vibes.
  • The offensive coordinator situation is tricky, but it’s going to have to be a hired gun who gets this situation, which is that the president and athletic director are having a press conference about the head coach who has 3 or 4 years left on his deal.
  • I never understood the need to hurry up and make an announcement on this situation, but a lot of people did. I suppose that pressure to do or say something is one of those things that gets created in some form or fashion and I think the pressure was internal within the athletic department and with the boosters who were pushing for Wells to be fired and Art Briles to be hired. The money to hire and fire Wells and Briles would come from the donors, but I was never in favor of that in any fashion and thought that Texas Tech could do better.
  • Of course, there are a lot of fans that are upset that Wells wasn’t fired entirely, as I understand things, the money that the boosters were willing to give was directly tied to hiring Briles so if Briles wasn’t hired, then this significant windfall wasn’t going to happen.
  • Hocutt mentioned that Texas Tech would have at least a $25 million shortfall (not sure if that was the direct quote) this year and it’s difficult to fire a football coach when there’s no money to do that and hire a new staff. I know that other programs are doing it, but I also don’t know if other programs have boosters who are allegedly are holding money over the heads of an athletic director to do their bidding which entails hiring a coach who was last seen on the college level leading a program that players who allegedly committed numerous sexual assaults on women.
  • But here’s the deal, I can complain all day long, but I don’t have the money to fix this situation. There are certain people that do and they’re not budging on wanting to hire Briles and Hocutt isn’t budging on not wanting to hire Briles. In some way, Hocutt is willing to essentially tie himself to Wells rather than hire Briles in the alternative. In some ways, I respect that. I may be in the minority, but my soul isn’t for sale and it doesn’t appear that Hocutt’s is either.
  • Maybe this will all work out, but it feels as if things are as messy as they’ve ever been.
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