Sonny Dykes arrived in style.
TCU officially welcomed its new football coach to campus on Monday night as Dykes and his family touched down at midfield of Amon G. Carter Stadium via helicopter. Once he landed, Dykes stepped out with a big smile and waved to the several hundred fans in attendance.
Dykes shook hands with athletic director Jeremiah Donati and Chancellor Victor Boschini, signaling the start of a new era for the football program. Donati and Dykes briefly addressed the crowd.
Dykes said he was honored and excited to take over the program, and then headed toward the south end zone to hit the “Frog Horn.” That set off a fireworks display as TCU concluded its grand entrance for Dykes.
Dykes met with the TCU’s players for the first time after the introduction.
He will be formally introduced Tuesday during a news conference at the school, as the Star-Telegram reported on Sunday.
“We are extraordinarily excited to announce Sonny Dykes as Texas Christian University’s newest Horned Frog and Head Football Coach,” Boschini said in a statement. “Sonny is passionate about joining TCU and leading our football program and our incredible student-athletes. Sonny is lauded as a respected and focused leader of teams, for his exceptional recruiting strategies and ability to build relationships that run deep.
“Dykes’ talent, success and passion, matched with TCU’s award-winning athletics program, positions us for a new era of Horned Frog football. Welcome home, Coach Dykes!”
Dykes and TCU reached a six-year agreement with the total nearing the $30 million mark, sources said. Dykes’ buyout is in the $8 million range, a source said. Former TCU coach Gary Patterson ranked among the highest-paid coaches in the country at $6 million annually.
Dykes replaces Patterson, the all-time winningest coach in program history who parted ways with the school on Oct. 31.
Dykes, 52, is the son of longtime Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes. Sonny has established himself as a coach in his own right as TCU is the fourth program he will oversee.
Dykes checked every box TCU had on its wish list for the next coach — a sitting head coach with an offensive background who is familiar with today’s era of college athletics with players profiting off name, image and likeness (NIL) and the ever-growing NCAA transfer portal.
Under Dykes and incoming TCU offensive coordinator Garrett Riley, the Mustangs ranked 13th in total offense this season. They were the 12th-best offense in 2020 and the ninth-best in 2019.
Dykes’ first head coaching stint was at Louisiana Tech from 2010-12, a stretch that included a WAC championship in 2011. He then moved to Cal from 2013-16 where his highlights included defeating Texas twice and developing current Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff, who became the top overall pick of the Los Angeles Rams in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Dykes spent the 2017 season as an offensive analyst under Patterson at TCU before taking over at SMU in 2018. The Mustangs went 30-18 and were ranked in the Top 25 a total of 19 weeks under Dykes. TCU, meanwhile, is 23-24 over that same span and has been ranked for only five weeks and has failed to appear in the Top 25 the past two seasons.
Dykes landed the position out of a group of finalists that included Louisiana’s Billy Napier, Iowa State’s Matt Campbell, Jackson State’s Deion Sanders and Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott. TCU also had interest in NFL-level coaches including Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and Denver Broncos running backs coach Curtis Modkins.
Donati made the hire, sources said, but had input from a five-person selection committee featuring Donati, deputy athletics director Mike Sinquefield and board of trustees members LaDainian Tomlinson, Eddie Clark and Hunter Enis. TCU also retained a coaching search firm to assist in the process.
Get the Horned Frogs Extra newsletter
Get the latest news regarding TCU athletics in your inbox every Thursday morning.