As I was sitting around the house today bummed since this is the first Saturday in three months our beloved Lobos are not on TV, I started thinking about the impending changes.
With the names of highly capable assistants being thrown around for the
UNM head coaching position, I started thinking who on the present
coaching staff, should be retained? I looked at recruiting, positional
coaching, and the past.
Some people will say: why keep anyone from a. 4-8 team? That's a fair
question but I answer that even with the multitude of injuries, this
team was a bad call, a fumble, and a few points from conceivably going
on to another bowl win. Sometimes the lady luck forgets about you and
that is how I could best describe this season.
Anyway, I continued to ponder this topic while on my way to my in-laws
for dinner. As many of you know, my family and I moved to Oklahoma for
a great job opportunity and to be closer to her family. While I do miss
New Mexico, the move also gives me a different view on UNM. So while,
riding through on the I -40E, it finally came to me; who is the coach
that is "the closer" when it comes to recruiting?
other than WR coach/recruiting coordinator Matt Wells. I asked myself
these question before coming to this conclusion (in no particular
order): where and how well can the coach recruit? His recruiting
prowess preceded him when he was hired at UNM from his days in OK from
his days at Tulsa.
I follow national recruiting very closely and recall telling everyone
the day Wells was hired that he is a flat out recruiting stud and his
work at UNM has done nothing to sway that opinion. Wells has
shown he bring kids in from other states as well, as he visited current
Lobo players from Illinois, Florida, and Texas.
So the other question is Wells as a position coach, can he coach up
players for game day? Ok, I already know what the perceived knock
against Coach Wells is: what happened with the wide receivers this
season? I would answer that is was the perfect storm of calamity: young
inexperienced WRs across the board, a jelling offensive line, and an
injured starting QB. Sprinkle in the most difficult schedule in recent
memory and you have a recipe for disaster.
I say if you blame Coach Wells in the bad, where was the praise when he
molded a former RB with a bad case of the drops (current Baltimore
Raven Marcus Smith) into a 1,000 receiver and 4th round pick in the NFL
draft and Travis Brown (who was recently added to the Chicago Bear's
training camp.) The tandem of Smith and Travis Brown re-wrote the UNM
receiving books for a duo. Not a bad answer if I do say so myself.
The next question would be will his coaching style mesh with the next
regime? With indicators pointing toward a spread offensive scheme
coming in, the next coach only need look at Wells' previous stop at
Tulsa. Steve Kragthrope's offense could spread it out or pack it in.
The offensive principles had two common threads: It created mismatches
and their teams scored a ton of points, which the spread is meant to
do. So I would answer that is a yes as well.
I am not here to slight or disrespect the other coaches since I know
they are all deserving to be retained as this is only one fans' opinion
but based on his recruiting ties, coaching prowess, and his ability to
mesh with the next coaching staff, I have to believe Coach Wells will
be interviewed and subsequently retained by whoever is brought onboard.
Obviously if the next coaching regime decides to keep our current
defense... Well that opens up a situation where even more coaches would
Now if you will excuse me, there's some banana pudding calling my
Eye On Recruiting: Matt Wells
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