Months after coming to an agreement to simply walk away from Texas Tech, for whatever reason, Matt Wallerstedt is getting back in the game. The former Texas Tech defensive coordinator will be named the new defensive coordinator for the Charlotte 49ers, a program entering just its third season of football in 2015 and preparing to move up to the FBS and join Conference USA.
Sports Illustrated was the first to report the news of Charlotte hiring Wallerstedt, which reunites Wallerstedt with his former roommate at Kansas State, Brad Lambert. Lambert is the head coach of the 49ers. The Charlotte Observer notes Wallerstedt will replace Bruce Tall. Tall’s defense allowed 31.6 points per game and 479.3 yards per game in 2014, although the program did start from scratch so the numbers should not be expected to be too glowing.
Wallerstedt was removed from his post in Lubbock in September, and a verbal back-and-forth between he and some coaches continued into November before the former assistant coach and school agreed to move on from the ugliness. Wallerstedt picked up a gig with Louisiana-Lafayette and ended the year as a linebackers coach for the Ragin’ Cajuns. Now he is getting a chance to show what he can do as a defensive coordinator once more, and he should be given plenty of time to work with Charlotte being such a new program.
Charlotte joins Conference USA in 2015 after playing two seasons at the FCS level.
The head coaching carousel may have come to a stop (for now) but the assistant coaching game of musical chairs is in mid-season form. Texas Tech is making movement on locking up an agreement with Houston defensive coordinator David Gibbs and defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator Zac Spavital.
As reported by College Football Talk contributor Zach Barnett over on Football Scoop, new Houston head coach Tom Herman has offered Gibbs a spot on his new coaching staff at Houston. However, if Gibbs does stick with Houston, he will do so with no play-calling responsibilities according to the report.It would seem Texas Tech is willing to offer Gibbs a bit more in terms of his place on the staff if he makes the move. At Houston, Gibbs would be a co-defensive coordinator, but at Texas Tech he would be the sole defensive coordinator. Interim defensive coordinator Mike Smith would reportedly move to coaching defensive line while Gibbs took on the full coordinator duties.
Texas Tech’s defensive coordinator position has been without a permanent name in place since Matt Wallerstedt was removed in mid-September following a battle with alleged substance abuse. Smith was named the interim defensive coordinator for the remainder of the season.
Texas Tech University will pay former defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt to just go away.
When the news originally broke, the school reportedly fired Wallerstedt for suspicion of being under the influence of an unknown substance at the school’s football facility.
An exact reason was never given for the move, but the school and Wallerstedt eventually reached a resignation settlement.
As part of the agreement, Wallerstedt also rendered Texas Tech blameless “from any further claims related to his employment or resignation.”
The official reason behind Wallerstedt’s resignation was due to “personal reasons.” The Lubbock Avanlanche-Journal acquired a copy of the the coordinator’s resignation letter:
“Kliff [Kingsbury], I have enjoyed working with you. To allow your program to go a new direction on defense, I hereby submit my resignation effectively immediately. I wish you and the Texas Tech Red Raiders every success in the future. Please tell the young men who I have had the privilege of coaching, and our coaching staff, that it was an honor and privilege to work alongside each one of them in this premiere program.
“If I can ever be off [sic] assistance to you in any way in the future, please call upon me.”
In Texas Tech’s first performance since Wallerstedt’s departure, the Red Raiders surrendered 45 points and 528 yards in a loss to Oklahoma State Thursday night.