March 18, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- Matt Wells has returned to the New Mexico football program and will coach the wide receivers Lobo head coach Mike Locksley announced today. Wells returns to UNM after spending last year at Louisville as the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator. Wells was on the UNM staff from 2007-08.
"We feel we have hired a great coach in Matt Wells," said Locksley. "He knows Albuquerque and he knows what Lobo football is all about. He is a great addition to our staff and brings a lot of experience. The energy and work ethic that he brings will greatly impact the wide receivers."
Wells, 36, directed a passing game at Louisville last year that accounted for 2,507 yards and nine TDs. The Cardinals averaged 208.9 yards passing per game and was led by QB Adam Froman. Froman connected on 111 of his 185 passes and had six touchdowns. He finished the season with at least one touchdown pass in his last six games.
Wells spent two seasons at New Mexico prior to joining the Louisville staff. During his time at UNM, Wells served as the wide receivers coach and coordinated the program's recruiting efforts. Wells recruited southeastern New Mexico, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and Oklahoma.
Wells, 36, tutored a pair of first team all-MWC receivers in 2007, Travis Brown and Marcus Smith. Smith led the MWC in receiving, setting a school record with 91 catches, for 1,125 yards and 4 TDs. Brown totaled 76 grabs for 1,031 yards and 6 TDs. It's the first time in school history that two receivers have reached 1,000 yards in the same season.
Smith was a 4th-round draft pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2008.
Wells spent five seasons (2002-06) as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator in a successful program at the University of Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane played in three bowl games in four seasons between 2003-06. Tulsa appeared in its second straight bowl in 2006, a first for the school since the 1964 and `65 Bluebonnet bowls.
Tulsa tight ends were instrumental in the team's recent offensive success. Wells coached 2005 All-American Garrett Mills, who established an NCAA single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end with 1,235 yards.
Mills ended his career ranked as the top receiving tight end in school history with 2,389 career yards, which also placed him sixth on the school's all-time receiving list.
Wells also coached Caleb Blankenship at Tulsa, an honorable mention all-conference selection in 2003 and 2004.
Tulsa's tight ends caught the most passes in the nation in 2003 with 89 receptions for 855 yards and 12 touchdowns. They combined for 83 catches and 919 yards in 2004.
The Golden Hurricane's 2004 recruiting class was rated as the top-ranked unit in the Western Athletic Conference by PrepStar magazine and Rivals.com, while the 2005 class earned best in Conference USA by Rivals.com.
Wells came to Tulsa after spending five seasons (1997-01) as an assistant coach at the U.S. Naval Academy. He served as a service academy assistant coach for the varsity in 1997, assisting with coaching the quarterbacks and fullbacks. Wells mentored the varsity fullbacks for three seasons (1998-2000) and the wide receivers in 2001.
During the 1998-2000 seasons, Wells also served as the head junior varsity coach and offensive coordinator. The Navy J.V. teams posted an overall record of 20-2 during that span.
A three-year letterman at Utah State, Wells played quarterback for four years (1993-96), and was the starter as a sophomore. He played free safety as a senior. A three-time All-Big West academic selection, Wells was a member of Big West Conference championship teams in 1993 and 1996.
Wells received his bachelor's degree in business marketing from Utah State in 1996. He and his wife, Jen, have two daughters: Jadyn and Ella.