Entering the 2022 season, TCU opted for a seismic change within the football program. It replaced longtime head coach Gary Patterson with Sonny Dykes, beginning a new era for the program.
The Horned Frogs forced out Patterson — the architect of the modern program who had been the head man since 2000 — in 2021 following four consecutive disappointing seasons. Moving on from the 62-year-old Patterson made sense, but it didn’t come without some risks.
He inherited a program that had been left out of the conference merger that created the Big 12 and had spent decades adrift. Under Patterson’s watch, TCU won double-digit games 10 times.
Hiring Dykes — a Texas native who is well-connected in the state — seemed like a natural fit. A former head coach at California, Dykes was fired in 2016 after going 19-30 in four years. He eventually landed back in the Lone Star State at SMU, where he returned the Mustangs program to consistent status.
No one expected TCU’s turnaround in Dykes’ first season. A team that went 5-7 in 2021 sits at 13-1 in 2022 after upsetting Michigan in the College Football Playoff semifinals. The Horned Frogs will play for their first national title since 1938 against Georgia.