Ex-TCU football coach Gary Patterson officially joins Steve Sarkisian’s Texas staff

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Longtime TCU football coach Gary Patterson is now officially a member of the Texas Longhorns’ staff.

Texas confirmed Friday that coach Steve Sarkisian has hired Patterson as a “special assistant to the head coach.” That’s the same title that Patterson gave Jerry Kill at TCU the last two seasons.

Patterson had been rumored to be going to the Forty Acres for weeks. He was pictured wearing Longhorns gear in UT athletic director Chris Del Conte’s suite at a men’s basketball game earlier this week, and has been seen around the football offices for the last month.

Texas confirmed the hiring on Friday without statements or a news conference. UT is not expected to hold a formal news conference to announce the hiring.

TCU athletic director Jeremiah Donati declined to comment.

TCU fans on social media had mixed reviews of Patterson’s decision. Some were happy to see him continuing his coaching career even with a rival such as UT. Some were upset.

As one fan wrote, “It’s simple for me, Texas can go 0-12 and have the #1 defense in the country.”

At the end of the day, Patterson did what he felt was best for his career. Joining Sarkisian’s staff and reuniting with Del Conte, who was TCU’s athletic director from 2009-17, is the right move at this time in his mind.

Texas fans are already wondering if Patterson is some kind of defensive coordinator-in-waiting if Pete Kwiatkowski struggles once again. Or possibly a head coach-in-waiting if Sarkisian endures another disappointing season.

For now, Patterson is taking over an analyst-type role similar to what Kill did for him. Patterson is not one of the 10 on-field assistants, which means he won’t be calling the defense. Instead, he’ll “coach the coaches” and provide advice when possible.

It’s a win-win situation for Patterson — he’ll get credit for any improvements the defense makes and Kwiatkowski will get blamed for any struggles.

Among Patterson’s duties will include assisting Sarkisian with special projects, overall practice and game day preparation and self-scouting of offensive, defensive and special teams schemes.

When asked about Patterson during his early signing day news conference last month, Sarkisian said: “I’ve obviously got a great deal of respect for Gary. I know that he’s trying to figure out in what capacity does he want to continue this profession. We have not made any determination on if we would want him here or if he would want to be here.

“But the reality is there’s definitely a level of respect for the job that he’s done at TCU.”

Patterson and TCU parted ways on Oct. 31 as the Horned Frogs started the season 3-5. It was an unceremonious end to Patterson’s stellar tenure with the school. This is a coach who already has a statue on campus.

Patterson, 61, is the program’s all-time winningest head coach who has won 70% of his games (181-79) over 21 seasons. He is regarded as one of the top defensive minds of this generation with TCU’s defense being ranked No. 1 in the country five times under Patterson.

But TCU regressed in recent years, posting a sub-.500 record from the 2018 season until Patterson’s departure on Halloween night. This year’s TCU defense ranked 119th out of 130 teams in total defense.

Texas’ defense wasn’t much better, checking in at No. 100 in total defense under Kwiatkowski. But Sarkisian and the Longhorns are banking on Patterson providing a fresh perspective on the program. Patterson had a 7-3 record against Texas since TCU joined the Big 12 in 2012.

Next season, TCU and Texas play on Nov. 12 in Austin.

Get the Horned Frogs Extra newsletter

Get the latest news regarding TCU athletics in your inbox every Thursday morning.

SIGN UP

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting