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2023 Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl, 12-16-23: Photo Gallery

4 min read
Washington bends the corner to get to Cal quarterback Fernando Mendoza

Texas Tech's Amier Washington (No. 96 pictured) bends the corner to close in on one of two quarterback sacks on the night versus Cal quarterback Fernando Mendoza. Mendoza completed 67-percent of his 33 passes for 261 yards and one touchdown, but also threw three interceptions.

Texas Tech Red Raiders football went to the Texas high school football ranks for one of its best all-time coaches. After a five-year stint at Baylor (three as associate head coach), Joey McGuire has led the Red Raiders to back-to-back bowl victories.

Does it come as any surprise?

McGuire led the Cedar Hill Longhorns to three state championships in a 14-year period. Along the way, he finished with a .772 winning percentage over 184 games. Even in preparation for the team’s contest, McGuire couldn’t keep his eyes off of the state championship games in Texas.

“Today, during the break, it was a long day having a late game and so I just followed, between social media and I got to see Port Neches-Groves beat SOC (Dallas South Oak Cliff) in a heck of a game 20-17,” McGuire said. “I got to see Duncanville, following that score. It’s just some really great storylines. Didn’t get to see yet the score of the last game.”

McGuire’s appreciation for many of Texas’ high school football coaches is a direct correlation back to Texas Tech’s recent success. He was effusive in his praise of Duncanville head coach Reginald Samples and former Katy high school coaching legend Gary Joseph.

“For Coach Samples, he’s an absolute legend in Texas high school football to win back-to-back titles. And then Gary Joseph’s son (Jeff) -who’s an absolute legend- for him to win his first state title. Coach Joseph -at Port Neches-Grove- and then seeing Coach Joseph (Gary) hug his son,” McGuire offered. “I actually sent the video to my son and told him, ‘this is going to be us someday.’ Really great moments. I followed every minute of it until we kicked off.”

The Red Raiders are building a program capable of winning in the Big 12 and beyond. 247Sports recently ranked its 2024 recruiting class 24th nationally.

McGuire’s passion for Texas high school football is reflected in its most recent 2024 class. 20 of the Red Raiders 21 signees hailed from the state of Texas.

No player better represents the team’s recruiting emphasis in the state better than freshman defensive lineman Amier Washington. Washington posted four tackles, three quarterback sacks, four tackles for losses and one forced fumble in the 2023 Independence Bowl. A shot put and discus champion at Little Cypress Maruiceville High School (Tex.), he logged minimal snaps during the regular season.

“We kind of saw it in bowl prep, you know how hard he (Washington) was playing,” McGuire said of the Orange, Texas native. “Really proud of Amier. He was one of those guys who really took advantage of the opportunity.”

We go inside his performance in our photo gallery of last night’s action.

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