Texas Tech hires Utah State's Matt Wells to replace Kliff Kingsbury as its coach

Texas Tech has opted to replace ousted coach Kliff Kingsbury with Utah State coach Matt Wells with the parties agreeing to a deal on Thursday. Wells, who has coached the Aggies since 2013 and was a former Utah State quarterback, is departing his alma mater for a Power Five opportunity in the Big 12.

"Quickly in the interview process, it became clear Matt Wells and his leadership style were a perfect fit to lead our football program," Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt said in a release. "We have a great future in store under Coach Wells, and I firmly believe he is the right coach to take us to an elite level. We are thrilled to welcome Coach Wells and his family to Lubbock."

Wells, a two-time Mountain West Coach of the Year, saw immediate success when taking over Utah State, going 19-9 in his first two seasons, including 13-3 in MWC play. But the Aggies suffered a slide the following three seasons, combining to go 15-23 from 2015-17 with a 3-9 mark in 2016. However, 2018 has been a complete rebound for Utah State, which stands at 10-2 (7-1 MWC).

Wells will take offensive coordinator David Yost and defensive coordinator Keith Patterson with him to Lubbock, Texas, the Red Raiders confirmed in their release.

Kingsbury went 35-40 in six seasons at Texas Tech, his alma mater. He was fired on Nov. 25 and has since been reportedly targeted as the leading candidate for the USC offensive coordinator job. 

Texas Tech fired Mike Leach in 2009 after ten seasons and neither of its next two hires have caught on for the long haul. Tommy Tuberville and Kingsbury, hired off a breakthrough season as offensive coordinator at Texas A&M, are on opposite ends of the hiring spectrum. Wells is more of a traditional candidate somewhere in the middle, proven as a coach with success at one of the top Group of Five programs in the country. 

CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

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