A Morale Booster?

New Texas Tech head football coach Joey McGuire was introduced to the public on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021 with a team that has three regular season games left to play. McGuire has won at the high school and college level, including three state championships as a head coach at Cedar Hill and a Big 12 championship appearance as an associate head coach at Baylor. (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal photo)

In recent years, Texas Tech athletics has always brought the question to the front of the mind which is: Do you want to be here?

Much like the April promotion of men’s basketball assistant coach Mark Adams, who gleamed in his introductory press conference, new head football coach Joey McGuire showed the same enthusiasm when he started off his first presser with the “RAIDER POWER” chant, adding that he’s been wanting to do that all his life. Not to mention, he also said Tech, which is his fourth place to coach, will be the last until he dies.

It only took two weeks in the middle of a season with three regular season games still left for athletic director Kirby Hocutt to make a decision on who to hire for the next head of the helm of Red Raider football. Like every coach that comes in, you won’t know how things will go until you see the results, but this one seems like a morale booster compared to the previous.

McGuire, 51, has over 25 years of coaching with a rich resume of high school success. After spending 13 years as the head coach of Cedar Hill where he won three state championships for a program without a playoff win prior to his arrival, McGuire made the leap to the college ranks in 2017, joining then-Baylor head coach Matt Rhule’s staff as they made a massive and quick resurgence. He served as tight ends coach his first two years before becoming the associate head coach with a dip in defensive ends and outside linebackers over the last three-and-a-half years.

The two most glaring things that stick out as missing are no head coaching or coordinator experience at the collegiate level. It certainly helps to have play-calling experience, but if he has two good ones while he’s coaching the team as a whole, which he emphasized in his presser, then it’s fine. As far as being a head coach, the ability to relate to players very well and be very caring while also being an outstanding coach and recruiter with strong Texas ties really can translate from high school to college. This pregame speech from a Cedar Hill playoff game shows the impact he has on players.

McGuire certainly looks like an influencer with how he got three recruits from Cedar Hill before even getting to his introductory press conference Tuesday midday after being hired Sunday night. Before he was hired off the Baylor staff, I remember the word was players really loved playing for him as he was a candidate to take over for Rhule in 2020, which ended up going to Dave Aranda as the former went up to the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. And you can definitely tell how enthusiastic he is from the presser.

Unlike his predecessor, Kliff Kingsbury, the now-fired Matt Wells had head coaching experience. He had some success although not the whole time at a Group of 5 school. He was a better recruiter than Kingsbury, particularly on defense, but the offense took a dip overall while his game-managing skills were terrible.

Unlike Wells, we don’t know what we’re getting in McGuire at a collegiate level. Who knows if he’s the next great thing? He’s a proven winner everywhere he’s been. He is an excellent recruiter for the state of Texas who knows DFW. (By the way, my alma mater is MacArthur High School in Irving. We used to play Cedar Hill in district. They were really good and broke our hearts multiple times, including a playoff slaughter. It’s quite a power house down south.)

Wells didn’t have deep Texas ties like McGuire. Even though he’s never been at Tech, his daughter and several of his relatives as well as his best friend went there. McGuire emphasized that he wants home-grown talent in the state while also saying he wants grad and junior college transfers. He also pointed out to recruit as a staff and not just him because then it becomes about the team and not just one coach who could easily leave, defusing egos, which I really liked to hear.

I can tell he wants to win badly. It’s going to be hard, but I think his hard-working style for he, his coaches and players is going to pay off. There’s a different feel with this guy. Hopefully, I’m right and he does what he was brought here to do: to win and bring Red Raider football back to prominence. The last three predecessors couldn’t do it. We’ll see if he can.

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I love Jesus, dancing and in this blog, sports.

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Austin McNabb

Austin McNabb

I love Jesus, dancing and in this blog, sports.

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