LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells was recognized Friday for his work in the Lubbock community as he was named the honorary head coach for the 2021 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.
Wells joins 11 student-athletes from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and 11 more from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division II, Division II and NAIA ranks to make up the final roster of 23 award recipients from across college football on the Good Works Team.
The award exists to honor the “good” in college football that extends beyond the playing field. The select group of student-athletes and the honorary head coach have committed their limited free time to helping service their communities and leaving a lasting impact on their respective universities.
“I am honored to be named to the AFCA Good Works Team,” Wells said. “This is truly a program-wide recognition and recognizes the buy-in our players have in building a We, Us and Our culture. My family and I love this community, and we truly believe in helping others by giving back to our Lubbock community. That will always be a priority for us as a program here at Texas Tech, and I am, again, very grateful for the work our staff and our student-athletes have done in prioritizing the needs of others.”
Since his arrival at Texas Tech, Wells has stressed the importance of building a positive, player-driven culture within the football program. He describes it as having a “We, Us and Our” mentality, meaning it takes every individual, inside and outside of the program, to contribute for the Red Raiders to be successful on Saturday.
That motto has applied to the Red Raiders’ work in the community as well as the Texas Tech football program has committed countless hours to various non-profit organizations and local school districts over the past two-plus years. During the 2020-21 academic year alone, the Red Raiders combined for more than 1,200 hours of community service, serving organizations such as the local YWCA, the South Plains Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House, Boys and Girls Club of Lubbock and Habitat for Humanity, among others.
During the season, anywhere from 20-40 Red Raiders will gather each Friday morning of a home game to visit a local school district, which often encompasses reading to elementary students and serving as mentors. The program is led by Troy Kema, an Associate A.D. for player development and student-athlete services on the football staff, with assistance from junior defensive lineman Tony Bradford Jr., who, himself, is a staple at all of Texas Tech’s community initiatives.
Wells has also implemented the “Special Spectator” program throughout his career, which involves inviting a local student who is suffering from an unfortunate medical condition to not only practice but to a select home game. The Special Spectator meets the team following each Thursday practice and then is recognized on the video board during the next home football game.
The football program also established a community scholarship prior to this season in conjunction with the 100 Black Men of West Texas. The scholarship covers all tuition and fees for one full year, providing a life-changing opportunity for a local student to attend the university.
Aside from the football program, the Wells family has also been strong contributors to the Lubbock community through his Women’s Football Clinic. Proceeds from the annual event are presented to a charity of choice for the Wells family with previous recipients including Voice of Hope, Women’s Protective Services and most recently, CASA of the South Plains.
In each year, Wells and his wife, Jen, have matched the proceeds with a donation of their own. Texas Tech recently presented CASA of the South Plains with more than $11,000 from this year’s women’s clinic, which the Wells family, in turn, matched in a surprise donation of their own.
Additionally, the Wells family provided a significant gift at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic more than a year ago to kick off fundraising efforts for the South Plains COVID-19 Relief Fund that was created by City of Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope. The Wells family has also contributed to other local organizations such as Team Luke Hope for Minds, Texas Boys Ranch and Covenant Children’s Hospital.
Allstate, the presenting sponsor of the Good Works Team, will make a $10,000 donation to a charitable organization of choice for the Wells family in recognition of his selection.
The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team was established in 1992 by the College Football Association, recognizing the extra efforts made by college football players and student support staff off the field. AFCA became the governing body of the award in 1997 and continues to honor college football players who go the extra mile for those in need. Allstate worked to present the award starting with the 2008 season.