TCU announces Sonny Dykes of SMU as new coach after arrival on campus
Sonny Dykes landed as TCU coach on Monday night, arriving at the purple-lit stadium in a helicopter that settled near the midfield.
After weeks of speculation, TCU announced its hiring by welcoming Dykes to the Fort Worth campus to meet with his new team.
Dykes spent the last four seasons at SMU before returning to the other side of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The son of former Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes was considered one of the top candidates for the Frogs job since Gary Patterson and TCU agreed on October 31 to go their separate ways with four games to play in the season.
A campus press conference was scheduled for Tuesday to officially introduce Patterson’s replacement.
The Dykes, 52, worked as an offensive analyst at TCU in an off-court role for Patterson during the 2017 season. He became the SMU coach when Chad Morris left for Arkansas at the end of that season. regular, and went 30-18 with the Mustangs. He was previously head coach at Cal and Louisiana Tech.
Dykes spoke briefly to several hundred students and fans who were at the stadium, telling them he couldn’t wait to start in what he called a special place. He then made it to the end zone for a long blast over The Frog Horn as fireworks went off over his head.
The helicopter landed near where there was a brawl when the SMU players attempted to plant a flag displaying the Dallas school ‘D’ logo after the Mustangs’ 42-34 win on September 25. Dykes apologized in his post-game comments for what the Mustangs players did with the flag.
This SMU victory, in the 100th game between schools, marked back-to-back wins for the Mustangs in the series for the first time since 1992-93, when the two were still in the former Southwestern Conference. Their next scheduled meeting is September 24 in Dallas.
Dykes oversaw SMU’s best overall success since the program returned in 1989 after being the only team to serve the so-called NCAA death sentence.
The Mustangs were 5-7 in Dykes’ first full season of 2018 after a 0-3 start. Then with an influx of transferred players, most of them returning home to North Texas as quarterback Shane Buechele, SMU started 8-0 in 2019 on the way to a 10-3 record. The Mustangs went on to win their first five games of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and finished 7-3.
SMU started 7-0 this season before losing four of the last five games. The Mustangs recognized 32 seniors ahead of the Tulsa game.
TCU had its third losing season in six years, after just two of the previous 18 seasons. That 24-season spell included Patterson’s three years as defensive coordinator before his promotion when Dennis Franchione left at the end of the 2000 regular season to coach Alabama.
While TCU carried out a nationwide search, athletic director Jeremiah Donati knew the school’s coach about 40 miles away, which met the main requirements set out for Patterson’s replacement.
Dykes was a current head coach and understands the changing college football climate like name, image and likeness, and the transfer portal. Donati had also indicated his desire to find an attacking coach.
The Mustangs have averaged 39.7 points and 483 total yards in 35 games since the start of the 2019 season. They totaled 595 yards (350 rushing, 245 passing) in a 42-34 victory at TCU earlier this season. Both schools play annually, with next year’s reunion set for September 24 in Dallas.
Dykes was 22-15 at Louisiana Tech from 2010-12 before moving to Cal, where he was 19-30 and had only had one winning season in his four years there.