Saturday, October 1 2022

AUSTIN — Texas finally admitted one of the Forty Acres’ worst-kept secrets on Friday, confirming the hiring of former TCU head coach Gary Patterson as the head coach’s special assistant. of the Longhorns, Steve Sarkisian.

The surreal confirmation came three days after a surreal scene unfolded during a Texas men’s basketball game against Kansas State at the Erwin Center. That night, Patterson wore a white sweater emblazoned with the burnt orange Longhorn logo and shared a suite with Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte, Patterson’s former boss at TCU from 2009-17.

Neither would confirm Tuesday night’s whirlwind reports, but the endgame was clear: Patterson, a thorny foe as TCU’s head coach for the past 22 seasons, had traded allegiances. Now he will be looking to help Sarkisian turn around a program that went 5-7 overall and 3-6 in Big 12 play last season, just like the Horned Frogs.

Patterson had previously been TCU’s head coach since 2000 — he spent the previous two years as defensive coordinator — posting a 181-79 record and winning 11 of 17 bowl games. The Horned Frogs have won at least 10 games 11 times under Patterson, including a 13-0 season capped by a 21-19 win over No. 4 Wisconsin in the 2010 Rose Bowl.

But TCU started 3-6 overall and 1-4 in the Big 12 game in 2021, leading to a “mutual agreement” between the program and Patterson to part ways last Halloween.

“I have, obviously, a lot of respect for Gary,” Sarkisian said during his Dec. 15 press conference. “I know he’s trying to figure out what capacity he wants to continue in this profession. We haven’t figured out if we’d like him here or if he’d like to be here, but the reality is there’s definitely a level of respect for the work he has done at TCU.”

Patterson, 61, could be an asset to defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski and the Longhorns defense, which struggled as a whole last season. Texas allowed 425.6 yards, 201.6 rushing yards and 31.1 points per game last season, all numbers that ranked outside the top 95 in the nation.

Patterson has been considered a defensive-minded coach since he started coaching in 1982 as a graduate assistant at Kansas State, where he previously played linebacker and safety. After that, he bounced from Tennessee Tech to UC Davis to Navy to New Mexico, with a few more stops dotted around, before landing a gig as defensive coordinator under TCU coach Dennis Franchione in 1998.

He took over as head coach of the Horned Frogs in 2000 after Franchione left for Alabama. And at the end of his tenure, Patterson was the program’s only all-time winningest coach, one who won 70.6% of his games, the fourth highest rating among active FBS coaches with at least a decade. of experience.

And as Texas prepares to enter the SEC, it might help Patterson be familiar with the realignment process, having guided TCU from Mountain West to the Big 12 in 2012. Under Patterson, the Horned Frogs went 45-41 against Big 12. competition – 26-10 from 2014 to 2017 – outplayed Texas in seven of 10 games and won a share of the 2014 conference championship with Baylor.

“I have, obviously, a lot of respect for Gary,” Sarkisian said during his Dec. 15 press conference. “I know he’s trying to figure out what capacity he wants to continue in this profession. We haven’t figured out if we’d like him here or if he’d like to be here, but the reality is there’s definitely a level of respect for the work he has done at TCU.”

Gary Patterson’s Coaching Experience:
1982 Kansas State (graduate assistant)
1983-84 Tennessee Tech (Readers)
1986 UC Davis (linebackers)
1987 Cal Lutheran (defensive coordinator)
1988 Pittsburg State (Kan.) (Seconds)
1989-91 Sonoma State (California) (defensive coordinator)
1992 Oregon Lightning
1992-94 Utah State (high school)
1995 Navy (secondary)
1996-97 New Mexico (Defensive/Safety Coordinator)
1998-00 TCU (Defensive/Securities Coordinator)
2000-2021 TCU (head coach)

[email protected]

Twitter: @NRMoyle

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