About an hour before the Texas Tech 2022 season opener Saturday night Joey McGuire was leaving the AT&T Jones field heading up a ramp when he stopped his run.
Quickly, he reached up to give hand slaps to four thrilled youngsters who may not have washed those hands until today.
During Texas Tech’s 2022 season opener instead of Where’s Waldo, it was Where’s Joey?
Joey McGuire was the Energizer Bunny dressed like a coach on the sideline seemingly everywhere: slapping hands with players coming off the field; scurrying back to the offensive and defensive benches with words of encouragement; in the special teams huddle; and fiddling with his headset over and over.
Minutes after Texas Tech had dismantled Murray State 63-10 there was Joey McGuire was on the 20-yard line hugging his wife, Debbie, as if they hadn’t seen each other in a month.
While owning pure, 100 percent energy 24-7 is never at the top of the checklist when hiring a Division I football coach, those actions are certainly part of the Joey McGuire experience.
When McGuire was hired back last November, arriving to Lubbock never having been a head college football coach, only fair to say a lot of questions arrived with him.
Could he handle all that comes with being The Man in charge of a DI program? Sure, his credentials as a Texas High School football coach were off the chart having gone 141-42 winning three state championships at Cedar Hill. But this is Big 12 ball, does he have the Xs and Os to go up against the big boys.
Now, one question McGuire didn’t have to answer was owning endless energy.
While McGuire’s amazing ability to always be on and not being fake has been seen all over the place since last November at places like Red Raiders fans get togethers, Tech practices with the players and with potential recruits, Tech fans saw it for the first time in game action Saturday night and loved it.
“McGuire’s energy is just what this program needed,” said Ronnie Johnson, a Tech season ticket holder from Midland. “This was just the start we needed.”
John Rangel of Lubbock isn’t a Tech season ticket holder. But he is a Tech football fan and wanted to see what all the buzz was about with McGuire and brought his family to The Jones Saturday night to witness McGuire’s debut.
“We enjoyed it all,” Rangel said. “McGuire is full of energy, that was obvious. We liked what we say and will be coming back.”
What Johnson and Rangel saw Saturday night was Tech perform like a legit Power 5 team is expected of whipping an FCS foe during this early college season game in front of a lively 58,823 fans.
Tech led Murray State 42-10 by halftime, saw three quarterbacks throw touchdown passes, and never let Murray State sniff the thought of an upset.
Perfect night? Naw.
The Tech secondary left Murray State receivers open on several occasions and made late breaks to the ball.
Starting quarterback Tyler Shough suffered a shoulder injured in the first half and is expected to miss at least the next two games, McGuire said.
No doubt, however, it was what the doctor ordered for Red Raiders fans and for the nation and Big 12 to see.
Attending a Tech game football game last fall was seeing a fan base out of love with its coaching staff and team. That has remarkably changed in less than a year because of one man, Joey McGuire.
McGuire has called Tech his dream job on several occasions. So, when he awoke Saturday morning to be the head coach of his dream team for the first time, naturally, he thought of one thing.
“I wish we were playing at 11 or 3, just because it was a long day,” McGuire said during his postgame press conference after the W over Murray State. “Nothing really hit me until we were walking down the tunnel and we had the band there, the horse and the masked rider. I thought all day to try and not go there and just focus on playing the best we all could. I told the guys all along it’s not about me. It’s not about one person. It’s about all of us and how we play this game together.”
Texas Tech certainly looked like a team on the same page against Murray State.
And, let’s get real.
It’s because one enthusiastic man, Joey McGuire, has put together a group of coaches, a group of players wanting to be bring greatness to the Red Raiders football name.
The world likes to say you only get one chance for a first impression.
Joey McGuire’s first impression as the Texas Tech head football coach was impressive. From the start to the finish.
I mean come on, you think Nick Saban would ever leap up to slap hands and give four youngsters the thrill of their life before a game?