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Extra notes from Matt Wells' introduction

Published December 21, 2012 7:22 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Logan • Utah State introduced Matt Wells as its newest head coach on Thursday afternoon, and he was well received by the two hundred-plus administrators, players, donors and fans who gathered at the Laub Complex.

A few notes and answers that didn't make it into the main story from Wells' presser:

• One of the toughest things Wells has to do is build a new staff. Most of Gary Andersen's key assistants — including his defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator — are moving to Madison. Wells mentioned many teams are still in bowl season, so he would have to wait to get permission to talk to other coaches. He added that he would look to build a staff to address his deficiencies, which would likely mean at least one veteran, and an ace defensive coordinator. Depending who stays on staff, he could promote from within.

• When asked if he was going to lead his own offense, he said "It's something we're working on." He made it clear that the no-huddle spread would stay in Logan. Whether he's leading the offense or not, it appears he'll still have a big hand in it.

• Wells mentioned the recruiting dead period as a good time for a transfer of power. Phone calls are limited, so other coaches can't have massive influence right now to sway recruits out of the class. Andersen was a powerful personality and a grade-A recruiter, so it's possible — well, maybe likely — there could be a few defections. But Wells added that he had already been on the phone with a lot of recruits, reassuring them there won't be all that much change.

• Andersen had a spot at Wisconsin for Wells. He said that Andersen put in a good word for him, but added that if he didn't get the head coaching job, he could come to Madison. But faced with the choice of that or the head coaching job in Logan, he called the decision to coach the Aggies "a no-brainer."

• Scott Barnes did not release the details of Wells' contract at the introduction. When asked about the details, he said: "Money and a lifetime supply of potatoes." Shouldn't be long before that slips out, though.

• Wells has a reputation for being a sharp mind on the field, but he was equally adept at fielding questions from the media. When asked if he was concerned about his lack of head coaching experience: "No, or else they wouldn't have asked me to interview." When asked about what it would be like moving from the pressbox to the field: "It's great for my four-year old because now he can watch daddy coach." When asked about what his first impression about Logan was as a player: "Aggie ice cream."

He was witty and drew some full-bellied laughter from a fanbase that has had a wearying few days. That won't necessarily get wins on the field, but it appears Wells has an ability to connect that could endear him to Utah State fans.

Kyle Goon




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