Dykes returns to TCU after serving as an offensive analyst for the team in 2017. In that season, the Horned Frogs went 11-3, reached the Big 12 Championship Game, and finished the season ranked 9th after a 39-37 victory in the Alamo Bowl over Stanford.
Following the 2017 season, Dykes was hired by SMU as head coach and completed an impressive turnaround. Dykes posted a 5-7 record in year one but went 10-2 in 2019, 7-3 in 2020, and 8-4 this season.
SMU’s offense was consistently ranked among the nation’s best under Dykes guidance. During Dykes four years in Dallas, the Mustangs spent 19 weeks ranked in the national top 25 and posted three consecutive winning seasons for the first time since the mid-1980s. SMU has hired Rhett Lashlee as Dyke’s replacement.
Dykes was greeted by the school band, cheerleaders, and hundreds of fans excited for his hire. Fireworks and flashing lights lit up the sky as the Horned Frogs faithful celebrated.
The next day, he was officially introduced at a press conference.
At the press conference, TCU athletic director Jeremiah Donati stated that the school wanted someone with proven success as a head coach, a recruitment plan, skills to navigate the transfer portal, and a history of developing student-athletes on and off the field, and the potential to compete for a championship.
“We were fortunate to generate a lot of interest from many great candidates,” said Donati. “Many of those candidates did possess these qualities. But in Sonny Dykes, we found someone who not only met every one of those desired criteria; he was far and away the best fit for TCU football and this university.”
Donati praised Dykes for his recruiting skills.
“When you start looking at the numbers, and you start looking at the talent in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex that wasn’t coming to TCU, I just marveled at what SMU has been able to do the last couple of years,” Donati said. “It really became glaring when you took a look at the numbers and the guys we were missing out on.”
Dykes has immediately shown the effect he will have on recruiting at TCU. Before his hire was official Dykes had already secured two commitments.
Garland senior wide receiver Jordan Hudson and North Mesquite junior wide receiver Cordale Russell – both four-star prospects according to 247Sports – were previously committed to SMU but de-committed and announced their intent to follow Dykes to TCU last week.
Four other SMU players also have de-committed since it became apparent Dykes was leaving the program.
Dykes will replace Gary Patterson, whom TCU decided to part ways with during Halloween weekend. Patterson had spent 21 seasons as head coach of the Horned Frogs but was let go after a poor start, and the team finished 5-7 on the season.
“This is a fantastic place, and it took a long process to get here,” said Dykes, “I spent a year in this program and I was blown away by the people I met and blown away by the players that were on the roster. It was really an eye-opening experience for me to see what kind of place this was.”
The Horned Frogs’ hire will undoubtedly make things more interesting for the annual rivalry game between the two schools. TCU and SMU are scheduled to play on September 24, 2022.