BIG 12

Texas Tech expected to name Baylor assistant Joey McGuire next football coach

Don Williams Carlos Silva Jr.
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Joey McGuire, who has been on the staff at Baylor for the past five football seasons, is expected to be hired as the next head coach at Texas Tech, three people told Avalanche Journal Media on Sunday.

McGuire would be the successor to Matt Wells, whom Tech dismissed on Oct. 25, midway through his third season. 

It's not immediately clear when McGuire will take charge of the Red Raiders. He is associate head coach and outside linebackers coach for Baylor, which is 7-2 and ranked No. 18  in the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll. The two teams play a regular-season finale against each other on Nov. 27 in Waco. 

Then-Cedar Hill (Texas) High School coach Joey McGuire, right, is expected to be Texas Tech's next head football coach.

As head coach at Cedar Hill (Texas) High School from 2003 through 2016, McGuire went 141-42 and led the Longhorns to four state-championship games, winning in 2006, 2013 and 2014 and finishing runner-up in 2012. His teams won seven district titles and nine bi-district championships.

McGuire then went to Baylor as a charter member of Matt Rhule's staff, serving as tight ends coach in 2017 and 2018 and as defensive ends coach in 2019. When Rhule left to become head coach of the Carolina Panthers, McGuire stayed on as a member of Dave Aranda's staff, having served as outside linebackers coach in 2020 and 2021.

He has had the title of associate head coach since 2019. 

In three years under Rhule, the Bears went from 1-11 to 7-6 to 11-3 and a Sugar Bowl appearance. They regressed to 2-7 in Aranda's first season last year, but have quickly rebounded to become bowl eligible in their first seven games this year. 

McGuire graduated from Crowley High School in 1989 and from Texas-Arlington in 1993. He started his career as an assistant at Crowley and Cedar Hill. 

McGuire has never been a head coach or a coordinator at the college level. In hiring him, Tech will be banking on his people skills — his popularity and connections with Texas high school coaches to improve the Red Raiders' recruiting and his reputation for being a players' coach to help build a successful culture.

A coach who has worked with McGuire called him "a people person" and a coach who will "create a culture that's going to last."

"You're going to get a genuine person who really cares," the coach said. "That's why I think everybody loves him, because they can tell he actually cares." 

After announcing Wells' dismissal, Tech athletics director Kirby Hocutt formed a search committee of himself, deputy AD Tony Hernandez, Tech System Board of Regents members Cody Campbell and Dusty Womble and former player and current football support staff member Sammy Morris. 

Hocutt said upon the inception of the search the characteristics for the next head coach were that he be a winner and someone who will unify a fan base that over the past 12 years has been divided by the firing of Mike Leach never threw its full support behind Tommy Tuberville or Wells and grew increasingly disgruntled during Kliff Kingsbury's six-year tenure. 

In contrast, Tech fans on social media pushed for McGuire to be considered. The campaign for him started as far back as a year ago after the Red Raiders had posted back-to-back four-win seasons in Wells' first two years. It intensified over the past two weeks after Tech decided to change coaches.

It appeared the position would go to Jeff Traylor, coach of unbeaten Texas-San Antonio and the Tech search committee's first target. But shortly after interviewing with Tech, Traylor agreed to a new 10-year, $28-million contract to stay at UTSA.

McGuire interviewed with Tech on Thursday. 

Tech also spoke to SMU coach Sonny Dykes, Oklahoma defensive coordinator Alex Grinch and Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, the former Red Raiders running back. Among the others given some level of consideration were Arkansas offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, Liberty coach Hugh Freeze, former Baylor coach Art Briles and Leach.

A person familiar with Tech's search process said the committee closely analyzed more than 20 candidates and at least a dozen reached out either directly or through agents expressing interest in the position.