Red Raiders land a relationship, culture and program builder in Joey McGuire

Texas Tech has its new head football coach, as the Red Raiders announced the hiring of Baylor associate head coach and former longtime Cedar Hill (Texas) High School coach Joey McGuire on Monday. McGuire made a name for himself at the high school level — McGuire guided Cedar Hill to multiple state titles — before entering the college ranks at Baylor, and Texas Tech hopes that the recruiting inroads that come with his resume will guide the Red Raiders to the next level on the gridiron.

247Sports recruiting analyst Mike Roach joined the College Football Daily podcast this week to discuss the McGuire hire in Lubbock. Perhaps nothing about McGuire stands out more than his ability to build relationships, which was a key factor in why he was hired to the Baylor staff in 2017 upon the arrival of now-former Bears head coach Matt Rhule, who did not have ties to the Lone Star State. Baylor went from a one-win team in Rhule’s first year in Waco to a Big 12 title contender in 2019, and success has continued under Dave Aranda’s watch.

“He’s an energetic guy,” Roach said of McGuire. “He’s a relationship builder. He’s a culture builder. And he’s a program builder. He was a big part of the reason — if you recall, when Matt Rhule took over at Baylor, a criticism there was that he didn’t have any Texas ties. McGuire was one of the first hires he made, and that went a long way within the Texas high school coaches.

“Joey is a legend within those ranks. He has relationships all over Texas and really all over the college game. What I really love is how it kind of follows the model of Jeff Traylor who, weirdly enough, McGuire and him are very close and would probably be working on the same staff if it wasn’t for them both being head coaching candidates.”

While a number of candidates were floated as potential replacements for Matt Wells, who was fired in October, momentum turned in McGuire’s favor at Texas Tech last week before he took the job. In total, McGuire has only coached at four different schools: Crowley (Texas) High School, Cedar Hill, Baylor and now Texas Tech. Cedar Hill is the only previous head coaching gig for McGuire, who led the Longhorns to a 141-42 overall mark from 2003-2016.

As for Texas Tech, this was the third season of the Wells era after he was hired away from Utah State in time for the 2019 campaign, replacing Kliff Kingsbury. Wells was at Utah State for six seasons, where he posted a record of 44-34, including two seasons of 10 wins and one season of nine wins. However, the success did not carry over to Texas Tech.

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In his first two years with the Red Raiders, Wells went a combined 8-14. Wells was a mere 5-13 in Big 12 play in that stretch and the 2021 season was not off to a much better start. Texas Tech did go 3-0 in non-conference play, but there were questions about the strength of schedule with Houston, Stephen F. Austin and Florida International.