Utah State's head coach Matt Wells has had his name come up in multiple coaching searches. First he was mentioned as a possible fit for the University of Nebraska. Now he is being mentioned for the opening created at Oregon State when Mike Riley bolted for Nebraska.
Wells has impressed analysts and athletic directors alike with what he has accomplished in two years at Utah State. Since taking over for the highly successful Gary Andersen-- now at Wisconsin -- Wells is 18-9 and has guided the team through a string of injuries on both sides of the ball including losing three quarterbacks for the season. Just two months ago his success landed him fourth on USA Today's "Head coaches on the rise" (McElwain was first.)
Before the season Utah State gave Wells a raise and extended his contract through 2018 but that might prove not enough if Oregon State comes knocking. The buy out protecting Utah State pales in comparison to that of Colorado State for now Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain. If Wells was to leave before July 1, 2015, his entire 2015 base salary of $650,000 would need to be bought out.
There are a couple things that that might benefit Utah State in its attempts to keep Wells. First off is coach Wells has ties to Utah State, he was a quarterback for the Aggies from 1993-96 and completed his degree while playing. Secondly, while Oregon State is a member of a Power Five conference they lack they rich history or prestige or many other big tme schools. Oregon state has five seasons of nine-plus wins in the lat 51 years, while Utah State has reached that mark for the third year in a row. Hopefully those reasons will be enough to keep Matt Wells at Utah State just a little longer.