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TCU hires SMU's Sonny Dykes as next head coach

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  • Sonny Dykes
    American college football coach, baseball player and coach

Sonny Dykes is heading to the Big 12 but staying in the state of Texas.

After weeks of speculation, Dykes was announced Monday as the new head coach at TCU, replacing Gary Patterson.

TCU let go of Patterson on Oct. 31, and Dykes, who just finished his fourth season at SMU, was quickly identified as a potential replacement for the Horned Frogs. Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel reported last week that the “overwhelming expectation” for the TCU job was that it would be filled by Dykes.

Dykes became the head coach at SMU in Dec. 2017. He had stints as the head coach at Cal and Louisiana Tech. He went 30-18 record at SMU and has a 71-63 overall record across his three FBS head-coaching jobs. The Mustangs went 5-7 in Dykes’ first season before going 10-3 in 2019 and 7-3 in 2020.

This season, SMU finished 8-4 with a loss in the season finale at home against Tulsa on Saturday. That 8-4 record includes a 42-34 win over TCU on Sept. 25. SMU, though, was not included in the recent Big 12 expansion that saw the conference add Cincinnati, Houston and UCF from the American Athletic Conference. 

SMU, which has already hired Rhett Lashlee to replace Dykes, was one of the programs left behind in the AAC, which also added new members in the aftermath.

SMU head coach Sonny Dykes works the sidelines during an NCAA college football game against Cincinnati, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Cincinnati. Cincinnati won 48-14. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
SMU head coach Sonny Dykes works the sideline during a game against Cincinnati on Nov. 20. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

Dykes has Texas ties

Dykes is a Texas native and the son of legendary Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes. Before he became a head coach, Dykes served as an assistant at Kentucky, Texas Tech and Arizona. He also spent the 2017 season — after he was fired by Cal — as an analyst for Patterson’s TCU staff.

Now he is headed back to Fort Worth as the head coach to take over for Patterson, who was with the TCU program for 24 seasons, including 21 as the head coach. 

Patterson oversaw the program’s journey from Conference USA to the Mountain West and into the Big 12. He led the Horned Frogs to one C-USA title, four Mountain West titles and one share of the Big 12 title. TCU also won 17 bowl games and had six top 10 finishes under Patterson.

In recent years, TCU has struggled. TCU lost 48-14 in Friday’s finale on the road against Iowa State to finish 5-7 on the year and miss out on bowl eligibility. With the loss, TCU is a combined 23-24 over the past four seasons with a 15-21 mark in Big 12 play.

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