New TCU head coach Sonny Dykes knows the expectations are high in Fort Worth, especially when his predecessor did things no TCU coach had every done before.
Dykes succeeds Gary Patterson, who spent more than 20 seasons with TCU. At midseason, the Horned Frogs and Patterson parted ways, with Patterson finishing with an overall record of 181-79 in more than 20 years. He led the Horned Frogs to a Rose Bowl win that helped the Horned Frogs validate their move to the Big 12, and nearly led them to a College Football Playoff berth in 2014.
Patterson actually remained around the program after his departure and the tenure of interim head coach Jerry Kill. He is now a special assistant on the Texas coaching staff.
But there’s more to replacing Patterson than simply succeeding him. Patterson actually has something in common with Alabama head coach Nick Saban.
“When you follow a legend, there are expectations,” Dykes said. “There aren’t many places where there’s a statue of a head coach at the stadium and that head coach is still coaching there. It’s about winning titles (at TCU). There’s a level of expectation. I knew that when I took the job. I want that. That’s part of what attracted me.”
Dykes also served as an analyst under Patterson in 2017, a team that reached the Big 12 Championship game.
TCU is coming off a 2021 in which it went 5-7 overall and 3-6 in Big 12 action. The Horned Frogs were one of the worst defenses in the Big 12, finishing eighth or worse in points allowed, rushing yards allowed, passing yards allowed and total yards allowed.
Dykes inherits a program with 14 returning starters and a brewing battle at quarterback between two holdovers in Max Duggan and Chandler Morris. TCU returns two of the league’s top wide receivers in Taye Barber and Quentin Johnston, along with a quality experienced linebacker in Dee Winters.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.