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Former TCU Coach Joining Longhorns Coaching Staff

Sports

Coach Gary Patterson | Image by Kevin Jairaj / USA TODAY Sports

Gary Patterson is joining Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian’s coaching staff in an off-field role. Patterson’s title will be special assistant to the head coach. With rumors swirling for weeks, Patterson joining the Longhorns seemed inevitable. Reportedly, Sarkisian and other Texas coaches met with Patterson in recent weeks.

Patterson was the head coach at TCU for the past 21 seasons before both sides mutually agreed to part ways last October. Patterson said he wanted to “stop the noise” after the Horned Frogs endured a brutal stretch of losing five of six games. That led to a swirl of negativity around the program and the coach’s future. 


Patterson is the coach with the most team wins in the history of TCU history, where he spent 24 years in total. After serving as the school’s defensive coordinator for three seasons, Patterson was named the Horned Frogs’ head coach before the 2001 season.

Patterson led TCU’s football program to national prominence. When he became the head coach, the school was in its first year as a member of Conference-USA. 

TCU then moved to the Mountain West Conference (MWC) in 2005, where the school would win the conference title four times in seven seasons as a member. In 2012, TCU joined the more renowned Big 12 conference, amongst historical rivals such as the Texas Longhorns. 

Patterson had great success coaching against Texas, going 7-3 against the Longhorns in Big 12 conference matchups. Overall, Patterson won ten or more games 11 times during his tenure with the Horned Frogs. Of those eleven seasons with more than ten wins, the team won 11 or more games during the 2014, 2015, and 2017 seasons as a member of the Big 12. 

For his success, a statue of his likeness was erected on TCU’s campus in 2016. However, the success of the program has stalled in recent years; the Horned Frogs suffered two losing seasons in the past three years.

On Tuesday night before any official word was released, Patterson was spotted in the stands of Texas’ home basketball game against Kansas State. He was wearing Longhorns apparel and sitting next to Texas Athletic Director Chris Del Conte, who was previously the AD at TCU. 

Patterson specializes in defensive strategy and is regarded as one of the great defensive minds in the last two decades of college football. Even though he will not be on the field on game days, the Texas defense could use all the help it can get. Last season, the team finished 99th in points allowed (31.1 points per game) and 100th in total yards allowed (425.6 yards per game).

The Longhorns allowed 30 or more points in eight of 12 games during Sarkisian’s first year as head coach, finishing with a 5-7 record.

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