TCU’s Sonny Dykes named Associated Press coach of the Year

Dec 18, 2022, 6:58 PM | Updated: Dec 19, 2022, 9:01 am
FILE - TCU head coach Sonny Dykes walks off the field after an NCAA college football game against I...

FILE - TCU head coach Sonny Dykes walks off the field after an NCAA college football game against Iowa State in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. TCU won 62-14. TCU's Sonny Dykes won The Associated Press Coach of the Year on Monday, Dec. 19, after leading the No. 3 Horned Frogs to the College Football Playoff in his first season with the school.(AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

(AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

              FILE - TCU coach Sonny Dykes is shown before an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Austin, Texas. TCU's Sonny Dykes won The Associated Press Coach of the Year on Monday, Dec. 19, after leading the No. 3 Horned Frogs to the College Football Playoff in his first season with the school. (AP Photo/Stephen Spillman, File)
            
              FILE - TCU head coach Sonny Dykes celebrates with his players after TCU scored a touchdown against Oklahoma during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in Fort Worth, Texas. TCU won 55-24. TCU's Sonny Dykes won The Associated Press Coach of the Year on Monday, Dec. 19, after leading the No. 3 Horned Frogs to the College Football Playoff in his first season with the school. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins, File)
            
              FILE - TCU head coach Sonny Dykes cheers after his team scored during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Iowa State in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. TCU's Sonny Dykes won The Associated Press Coach of the Year on Monday, Dec. 19, after leading the No. 3 Horned Frogs to the College Football Playoff in his first season with the school.(AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
            
              FILE - TCU NCAA college football head coach Sonny Dykes speaks during an introductory news conference in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. TCU's Sonny Dykes won The Associated Press Coach of the Year on Monday, Dec. 19, 2022, after leading the No. 3 Horned Frogs to the College Football Playoff in his first season with the school. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
            
              FILE - TCU head coach Sonny Dykes walks off the field after an NCAA college football game against Iowa State in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. TCU won 62-14. TCU's Sonny Dykes won The Associated Press Coach of the Year on Monday, Dec. 19, after leading the No. 3 Horned Frogs to the College Football Playoff in his first season with the school.(AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

TCU’s Sonny Dykes was named The Associated Press Coach of the Year on Monday after leading the No. 3 Horned Frogs to the College Football Playoff in his first season with the school.

Dykes received 37 of 46 first-place votes and 120 points from AP Top 25 voters to become the second TCU to win the award, which is presented by Regions Bank. The first two were won by Gary Patterson (2009, 2014), the coach Dykes replaced after last season.

“It’s the ultimate team award,” Dykes told AP. “It’s indicative of literally everybody in our office, coaches, players, everybody, because more so than ever in college football it is truly a team effort.”

TCU (12-1) faces No. 2 Michigan (13-0) on Dec. 31 in the Fiesta Bowl for a berth in the national championship game.

Tulane coach Willie Fritz was second with 40 points and two first-place votes, followed by Tennessee’s John Heupel (38 points, one) and last year’s winner, Jim Harbaugh of Michigan (28 points, five). Georgia’s Kirby Smart (15 points) also received a first-place vote.

Dykes, 53, is in his fourth stop after stints with Louisiana Tech, California and SMU. The Texan and son of longtime Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes, Sonny Dykes is 83-64 in 13 seasons as a head coach.

“It’s not always like this and I’ve been on both ends and so something like this probably means more to me than it might somebody,” Dykes said. “I’ve been 1-11 and I’ve been fired. I’ve been kind of on top and then on bottom, too. I’m always thankful for those bad times because it really truly does make you appreciate the good times more.”

Dykes’ path to AP coach of the year is unique. The award was established in 1998 and no coach had ever won his first coach of the year on his fourth stop as an Bowl Subdivision head coach.

Dykes moved across town to take over at TCU after being with rival SMU for five years. Playing against the Horned Frogs annually, he had a good idea of what kind of team he was getting.

Instead of a major roster overhaul of last season’s 5-7 TCU team, Dykes dipped into the transfer portal to fill some holes, but mostly took what he inherited and turned it into one of the best teams in the country.

“Sometimes it’s more about the chemistry of things and trying to get the chemistry of those rooms right as opposed to necessarily adding talent,” Dykes said. “That part of it, I think, is really overlooked. Just the chemistry and creating competition and all that.”

The Horned Frogs started the season unranked and didn’t lose until dropping the Big 12 championship in overtime to Kansas State.

“We really had no expectations whatsoever when the year started,” Dykes said. “We thought we had a chance to be pretty good, but we just gained confidence every week and we had some kids that really were tough and like to compete, and that made everything so much better.”

Dykes is one of several head coaches in major college football right now who worked for Mike Leach early in his career. Leach died last week at 61 of complications from a heart condition. He was in his third season at Mississippi State after stints at Texas Tech and Washington State.

Dykes called Leach one of the most influential people in his career, second only to his father.

“One of a kind, for sure,” Dykes said.

___

AP Coach of the Year voting (1st place votes, 2nd, 3rd, total points):

Sonny Dykes, TCU 37 4 1 – 120

Willie Fritz, Tulane 2 12 10 – 40

Josh Heupel, Tennessee 1 13 9 – 38

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan 5 5 3 – 28

Kirby Smart, Georgia 1 4 4 – 15

Lincoln Riley, USC 0 4 5 – 13

Kalen DeBoer, Washington 0 1 4 – 6

Lance Leipold, Kansas 0 2 1 – 5

Mike Elko, Duke 0 1 1 – 3

Jim Mora, UConn 0 0 3 – 3

Jonathan Smith, Oregon St. 0 0 2 – 2

Shane Beamer 0 0 1 – 1

Chris Klieman, Kansas St. 0 0 1 – 1

Bret Bielema, Illinois 0 0 1 – 1

___

Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at http://www.appodcasts.com

___

AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/ap_top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://tinyurl.com/mrxhe6f2

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

NFL, DAZN sign agreement for Game Pass International package

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL has signed a 10-year agreement with DAZN Group to deliver the Game Pass International service to fans outside the United States beginning with the 2023 season, it was announced Tuesday. Game Pass International will be offered in more than 200 countries and regions, including Canada and Mexico. It will […]
1 day ago
France's Alexis Pinturault smiles after completing the slalom portion of an alpine ski, men's World...
Associated Press

French skier Pinturault wins gold in combined at home worlds

COURCHEVEL, France (AP) — First-run leader Alexis Pinturault held on to win the gold medal in the men’s combined Tuesday at his home world championships. In a tricky slalom run on a steep pitch, the Frenchman retained his lead from the super-G portion to edge defending champion Marco Schwarz by 0.10 seconds. The Austrian, second […]
1 day ago
Jamahal Hill, left, of the U.S., competes with Brazil's Glover Teixeira in a light heavyweight titl...
Associated Press

UFC to expand into Mexico with new training facility

The UFC will open a multimillion-dollar, 32,000-square-foot MMA training facility in Mexico City late this year, the organization announced Tuesday morning. “Some of the greatest athletes in combat sports history have come from Mexico,” UFC President Dana White said in a statement. “Our teams at the (Las Vegas Performance Institute) are the best in the […]
1 day ago
FILE - A Russian flag is held above the Olympic Rings at Adler Arena Skating Center during the Wint...
Associated Press

Paris mayor: No Russian team at 2024 Games if war continues

PARIS (AP) — Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo says there should be no Russian delegation allowed at the Paris Olympics next year if Moscow continues its war against Ukraine. Hidalgo previously said Russian competitors could take part under a neutral flag but she backpedaled on Tuesday in an interview with French media France Info. Acknowledging that […]
1 day ago
FILE - A woman passes by the Olympic rings at the City Hall in Paris, on  July 25, 2022. Latvia is ...
Associated Press

Nordic sports bodies urge IOC to ban Russian athletes

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The five Olympic committees in the Nordic region on Tuesday urged the International Olympic Committee to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from “international sports participation” because of the war in Ukraine. The bodies from Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway said they wanted to expressed their “steadfast support once […]
1 day ago
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts after being called for a foul in the second half...
Associated Press

Ticket demand, anticipation grows as LeBron nears Kareem

Courtside seats 166 and 167 at the arena where the Los Angeles Lakers play their home games are pretty much as good as it gets. The people occupying those chairs when LeBron James breaks Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA scoring record will have an up-close view, with their feet on the very hardwood where the history-making shot […]
1 day ago
TCU’s Sonny Dykes named Associated Press coach of the Year