Gary Patterson is no longer a TCU icon
By: Tim Rodriguez
After over two decades; Gary Patterson is no longer the head football coach for the Texas Chrsitian University Horned Frogs. Patterson led TCU to heights that they never thought possible. In all honesty, this was a garbage football program before Patterson took over in 2001. Since his arrival, TCU has moved up in conferences twice, including a move up into the power five in 2011. After that, Patterson led the Horned Frogs to a 12-1 record in just his third year in the Big-12. TCU is the last team not named Oklahoma to win the Big-12. Yes, the Horned Frogs have a more recent conference championship than the mighty Texas Longhorns. However, TCU is just 21-22 since 2018. A titan amongst defensive minds, Patterson will not finish the 2021 season and will have a head start on looking for his next coaching job. With his future up in the air, what are some places that Gary Patterson should be looking at?
Obvious Choice: Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas Tech offers Patterson a new challenge, but also the ability to pick up where he left off. A move to Lubbock would allow him to stay in Texas, stay in the Big-12, and not have to make such drastic adjustments in his 60’s. Early returns indicate that Texas Tech is looking for a dramatic shift. Gone are the high-flying offenses of Mike Leach and Kliff Kingsbury. Trying to replicate that with Matt Wells was an abject failure. The confirmed interviews for the Red Raiders so far have been Oklahoma defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, as well as Baylor assistant Joey Mcguire. Now, both of those coaches are younger than Patterson but have Big-12 experience. Texas Tech would likely be the easiest transition for Patterson.
A step down: Defensive Coordinator
Gary Patterson is a head football coach. However, should he not like any of the available jobs, it would not be out of the realm of possibility for him to assume a highly compensated defensive coordinator position. If Alex Grinch does end up going to Lubbock, Oklahoma would be foolish to not back up the brinks truck for Patterson. A more drastic option would be potentially replacing Brent Venables at Clemson if he believes that it is time to move on. *Whispers* We all know Nick Saban loves having former head coaches on his staff.
Reviving former Powerhouses
The University of Miami is in bad shape. Manny Diaz has some impressive wins in recent weeks, which may help him keep his job for another season, but it really should not. Miami’s 2022 recruiting class is abysmal. Currently ranked 59th nationally and 12th in the conference, the 2022 class will be haunting this program for the next few years. If Manny Diaz is let go however, Gary Patterson needs to be the first call that athletic director Blake James makes. In a town that produces countless stars, the Hurricanes are getting dominated in local recruiting. Coaching has also been atrocious, as Miami simply cannot tackle. The biggest hurdle here will be whether or not Miami is willing to spend big money, as firing Diaz comes with an $8 Million buyout.
National Champions just a year ago, the LSU tigers are a favorable job. However, Gary Patterson is a name that should certainly be in their radar. Most of the names attached to the Tigers have extensive appearance, which Patterson obviously has, along with familiarity with the region. If James Franklin decides to decline and other candidates remain at their schools, Gary Patterson is one of the best consolation prizes out there.