Texas Tech’s media day opened with a simple and humble question from head coach Joey McGuire, “How lucky are we to be in this stadium doing this?” AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas is home to some “Incredible memories” for McGuire. He won high school state championships in this venue in 2013 and 2014. He also was an assistant for Baylor when they played for a Big 12 title in 2019. McGuire covered a few different topics during his 23 minutes in the big seat. And all answers were accompanied with McGuire’s signature passion.
Texas Tech’s Media Day Reactions
High Praise For New Commissioner
New Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark made his position very clear on day one of Big 12 media day. McGuire also left no doubt he is a fan. When asked about Yormark, McGuire said, “He brings a very different perspective…you can feel his energy over the phone.” It must be tangible energy if it can exist in the same atmosphere/conversation with McGuire.
McGuire Is Still A High School Coach
McGuire was asked about what his experience as a high school coach has done for him on the recruiting trail. He stated, “I’m a high school coach that gets to coach college football. My DNA is a high school coach.” Texas Tech’s 2023 recruiting class is currently ranked 16th nationally, and at one point was as high as number two in the spring. He credits his relationships with coaches as a key factor for their success. Those Texas high school coaches can trust that McGuire and company will look after their players.
And while recruiting is important, this is a fan base that is itching for wins right now. McGuire knows this as well as anyone, possibly even better than most. “Our fan base, and my wife, wants to win more than anybody.” No matter where the pressure comes to win, McGuire is excited about the challenge. “This opportunity at Texas Tech, I couldn’t pass it up.”
Selling Football With Basketball
Texas Tech’s media day was supposed to be about the football program. But McGuire cited the men’s basketball program as a recruiting tool he utilized after arriving on campus. “Have you ever been to a basketball game in west Texas?” The fan support of the basketball program has been a tangible asset McGuire was able to show recruits on visits in the spring. With the announcement of a $200 million investment into new football facilities, he is continuing to sell to recruits how committed the fan base is and ready to provide that same type of energy on Saturdays in the fall.
Notes On Team And Coaching Staff
McGuire felt confident in his ability to get buy-in from the players, but how quickly it has happened has been a welcome surprise. “I believed they would buy into what we were going to do, but I didn’t think it would be as fast as it has been,” McGuire said. One reason he credits that is in part to the staff that he put together. When he was asked about his philosophy on putting a staff together, McGuire said, “It didn’t start with X’s and O’s.” He tells his coaches to this day, “if you can’t put the players first, you are in the wrong place.” The quote should not come as any big surprise to anyone who has been following McGuire’s career.
One staff member, in particular, has lots of fans excited about all the possibilities for the offense. Offensive coordinator Zach Kittley was the subject of a few questions McGuire fielded during Texas Tech’s media day. He spoke about the moment in the interview process when he fell in love with Kittley. Kittley told McGuire, “Coach, I’m gonna find the best 11 players, I’m going to get them on the field and we are going to score a lot of points.” McGuire also added that while there are going to be air raid concepts to the offense, it will not be a true air raid offensive attack. He spoke to how the Red Raiders have three tight ends that they really like and want to get on the field as much as possible.
By the end of the press conference, it was clear McGuire is itching for the season. Which is no different than the rest of the Big 12 coaches. For a Texas Tech fan base that is still very much in the honeymoon phase with their new head coach, all today did was continue to fuel a very passionate flame of optimism for the upcoming season.
Main Image courtesy; Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports