Texas Christian University fans were shocked last November to learn that 20-year head coach Gary Patterson had parted ways with the program. A year removed from the coaching change; those same fans feel very differently.
TCU reached across the Metroplex to steal away Sonny Dykes from Southern Methodist, a risky move that was likely to bring plenty of drama between the rival schools.
After a 2022 campaign that has seen Dykes lead TCU to a 12-1 record and a shot at the national title, the campus has offered Dykes an extension on his coaching contract that will keep him in Fort Worth until at least 2028. Along with the extension, Dykes received a raise in pay that makes him one of the highest-paid coaches in the Big 12.
Dykes took over a program at TCU that had several star players on the roster and then augmented the team with smart use of the transfer portal to add more key players.
In 2021 under Patterson, TCU went 5-7 overall for the second time in three years, and the program looked adrift. Dykes resurrected the Horned Frogs by instilling confidence and a sense of dedication that players took to the field every game.
The contract extension was not the only benefit that Dykes earned while taking the Frogs to the Fiesta Bowl. He was named Big 12 Coach of the Year by a unanimous vote, only the fourth time in college history that the efforts of a coach have been so well recognized.
To top that honor, Dykes was also named the Walter Camp National Coach of the Year, an award adjudged by a group of Division 1 head coaches and sports information directors to honor the top coach each season.
Dykes joins a group of legendary Big 12 coaches that includes Patterson (2017, 2009), College Football Hall of Famer Mark Mangino (2007), and current Arlington Renegades head coach Bob Stoops (2000, 2003) during his time at Oklahoma.
Dykes is also a finalist for the 2022 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. The winner will be announced on December 20. Among the finalists for the award alongside Dykes is Jim Harbaugh, the head coach at Michigan. The Wolverines will play TCU in the VRBO Fiesta Bowl on December 31 in the national semifinals.
Not only has Dykes racked up accolades himself this season, but the team he leads is also turning heads and getting national attention. Dykes led TCU to defeat five ranked opponents this season, knocking off Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas Tech in division competition behind a gritty and explosive offense.
The undisputed leader of the Horned Frogs’ offense is quarterback Max Duggan, the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and a finalist for the 2022 Heisman Trophy. Throughout the season, Duggan’s heroics on the field helped the Frogs earn key wins and kept the team in games that might have turned into blowouts in previous years.
The only disappointment so far this season was the loss to Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship, an uncharacteristic missed opportunity that could have brought a Big 12 title to Fort Worth for the first time in school history.