Matt Wells talks about Utah State football hires
It's a youthful staff, Matt Wells acknowledged, but that doesn't mean it's not experienced.
Wells spent some time Wednesday talking about his new - and familiar - coaches who now inhabit Utah State's staff. Only two hirees so far are older than 40, but most have been around the block and know how to recruit.
"It's a good mix of experience and energy," Wells said. "The chemistry we're building here is very important."
The Aggies made their first hires outside of the program last week, and Wells had a few words for all of them.
First off: Kevin McGiven is the offensive coordinator. Wells was clear on this, saying that McGiven will be the guy when it comes to the offense. Luke Wells has "co-offensive coordinator" built into his job title, but McGiven does not.
Less clear is who exactly will be calling the plays. Matt Wells said that discussion will likely go into the spring. McGiven called plays at Montana State and for one of his seasons at Memphis.
Wells says one of the best values about his outside hires - McGiven, Wells and Mark Weber - is that they bring in experience from difference conferences. McGiven coached with Memphis in Conference USA, Luke Wells was in the Big 12 at Iowa State, and Weber has been just about everywhere.
Weber will be the senior man on staff, pending on hires at defensive coordinator and runningbacks coach. He has 34 years of experience in college football. Matt Wells said he had hired Weber before BYU announced a staffing shake-up on offense with Robert Anae's return.
"I've known Mark Weber for some time, and he's respected in the state," Wells said. "He's put guys in the NFL. He has a vast knowledge of the game, he's got toughness and fierceness, and he'll be valuable to us in many ways."
Weber has a reputation as a player's coach which should help recruiting. That was another factor that played into Wells' additions: Just about everyone remaining and brought into the staff has strong ties to recruits and had a hand in developing some top prospects. Just look at how Kevin Clune has helped bring along the linebacking corps with Bobby Wagner and three all-WAC players this season.
Frank Maile, Kendrick Shaver and Jovon Bouknight have all helped create all-WAC guys. Furthermore, they all have strong connections to the incoming class and the recruits the Aggies are still trying to bring in.
"The four guys we've retained, they're legitimate contributors to 18 wins the last two seasons," Wells said.
McGiven has ties to Louisiana (where he went to college) and Texas in recruiting. Luke Wells will be asked to recruit Texas, and use his relationships specifically in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Weber has good in-state ties from his stint at BYU. And don't doubt either of the Wells brothers when it comes to mining Oklahoma, their native state.
Added up, Utah State will likely be hitting talent-rich Texas pretty hard, but Matt Wells is also pledging to keep up recruiting in Utah, where the Aggies have landed some gems.
Wells sees some promising foundations for his group that he's put together. As spring ball and summer workouts speed ahead, the new faces at Utah State will be put to the test.
The first batch of recruits comes in this weekend. Buckle up.
- Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon