Joey McGuire: The Texas High School Football Coach
I've seen several times this season a criticism of Joey McGuire that I don't quite understand. I mean, I get why people call Joey McGuire, "just a High School coach", but I don't think it's the slam that people think it is.
When McGuire was talked about as the next coach of the Red Raiders I was all in because of his ties to Texas High school football. The recruiting connection is immediate, but it's more than that. It's the family-first attitude. It's the focus on the small things approach. It's the importance of former players and the logo on the uniform.
That's all classic high school football, and exactly what makes Joey McGuire great.
Joey McGuire and the Red Raiders are 6-5 this season with an opportunity to do several things with a win over Oklahoma. They can have their first winning record in Big 12 play since they switched to the round robin format. They can beat Oklahoma and Texas in the same season for the first time ever. They can match their best regular season record since 2015.
All of that with a high school coach who hasn't gotten to use his recruiting chops for a full season yet.
After the wins over Houston and Texas, there were comments about Joey and his pre and post game speeches. Sour grapes I'm sure, but people didn't like McGuire saying that the Big 12 was going to run through Lubbock or that the other team would break. It remains to be seen if the conference will run through Texas Tech, but Houston and Texas both broke.
And Joey's Locker room speeches are... you guessed it: Joey just being a high school coach.
He's been doing this since Cedar Hill.
I'm supposed to watch that tweet and think it's a negative? You can see why I don't comprehend why people calling Joey McGuire a high school coach is a negative.
To me, the motivational schticks are as much of a part of high school football as the band and the cheerleaders. Burying footballs and burning box scores in the bonfire are things that I love and exactly the kind of thing that Joey McGuire would do to get his team focused on the next game. It's a thin line between motivational and cheesy, but McGuire has his finger on the pulse and knows the buttons to push.
This weekend in Ames, Iowa Joey pushed another button. According to the Learfield Radio crew and sideline reporter Chris Level, McGuire had the guys carry around a tire to signify the scene in Creed II when Rocky has Creed do a training montage and Creed fights a bigger opponent and neither fighter can take their foot out of the tire on the ground.
Watch the scene here for context.
The Texas Tech defense kept their foot in the tire every red zone trip and only got punched once. I guaruntee you they were screaming to each other on the field keep your foot in the tire. They carried a literal tire around the sidelines during the game.
Somebody from outside this program might look at that and say, "that's high school stuff." but I look at it as Joey McGuire stuff and I absolutely love it.
This little high school coach getting his recruiting going with a brand new staff that's never worked together and suffered injuries all season long at all three levels on both sides of the ball still has a shot at the best season in a decade-plus.
Sign me up for 10 more seasons of High School Coach Joey McGuire.