Reggie Pearson Says Culture Shift is Seismic With New Texas Tech Staff
The Matt Wells Era was not a success on the field by any metric. The team went 4-8 in year one, 4-6 in a COVID-shortened year two, and 5-3 with a couple of embarrassing losses into his third season when he got fired. What's crazy is, until the end, I really felt like Matt Wells was a coach doing his best that was just a bit out of his depth.
To me, looking back via autopsy on the previous regime shows just how bad that staff performed in Lubbock.
I can look at and analyze the program from the outsider's point of view, but as a legendary salesman once said, "Of course, I can get a hell of a good look at a T-Bone steak by sticking my head up a bull's ass, but I'd rather take the butcher's word for it."
In this case, the Butcher is second-year Red Raider Reggie Pearson who began his career as a Wisconsin Badger before having to transfer and sit out two seasons after not getting medically cleared at Wisconsin.
I asked Pearson what the difference in culture was between Madison, Wisconsin, and Lubbock and his answer was enlightening, to say the least.
"Tradition." Pearson opened. "Tradition is a big thing up there." Pearson then opened up about the team atmosphere at Wisconsin pitching that against when he got to Texas Tech and the "Individualized" atmosphere.
Pearson also talked about the team not having the grit to win games and even expecting to lose some games on the schedule. I thought that about Matt Well's team in Norman in 2019 and again in Austin in 2021. They hardly got off the bus.
That culture immediately shifted under Sonny Dykes last season with the pumpjack mentality and Pearson echoed that saying, "Now, thankfully, that's changed. We have the mentality of winning every game this season."
Pearson doubled down later in the interviewing saying they expected to be in the playoff picture.
Later on we got another glimpse of the culture change when Jerand Bradley said of Joey McGuire, "We just want to play hard for him, it wasn't like that last year."
Sheesh. I know Bradley wasn't trying to slam Wells personally, but what an indictment on the state of the program last season and a beacon to national writers and pundits who didn't understand at the time why Matt Wells was fired.
Thank goodness Joey McGuire and his culture and brand are in place in West Texas now.