Gary Patterson on Texas side trying to spoil TCU’s perfect record

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FORT WORTH, Texas — Gary Patterson could now play a key role in spoiling what has been a perfect season so far for fourth-ranked TCU.

After having as good a run as any Big 12 coach in whipping Texas over the past decade while still in purple, there is that startling contrast of Patterson being in burnt orange and on the opposite side of the team that he led to its last undefeated season.

Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson smiled and gave a “focus-on-us” answer about the Horned Frogs (9-0, 6-0 Big 12, No. 4 CFP) facing the former coach. The standout senior cornerback then chuckled when asked about his initial response.

“I just smiled because, you know, you brought up coach Patterson,” Hodges-Tomlinson said, still without a straight face.

Patterson is certainly a focal point for the game, even though he is in a non-coaching role as a special assistant for Steve Sarkisian at No. 18 Texas (6-3, 4-2, No. 18 CFP) and can’t directly interact with players.

One of the first questions Sarkisian got asked this week was if Patterson was working more than usual to help against the Frogs, who won seven of the past 10 in the series with Patterson as their coach until just more than a year ago. TCU had won only seven of the 41 meetings before that since the mid-1950s.

“Gary works 24-7 to beat anybody,” Sarkisian said with a laugh. “He’s got an unbelievable work ethic about him. He’s got a great deal of discipline in his approach into what he does and how he does it.”

Sarkisian insisted nothing has been different this week for Patterson, who does advance scouting and shares his findings and thoughts with the Longhorns defensive staff.

Patterson is the Frogs’ winningest coach with 181 victories over 21 seasons, after three years as their defensive coordinator. There is a statue on the Fort Worth campus of Patterson, whose tenure included a 13-0 season in 2010 that ended with a Rose Bowl victory and a No. 2 national ranking.

That was two years before the Frogs joined the Big 12 from the Mountain West Conference, and the last time they had started 9-0 – until now in Sonny Dykes‘ first season.

Dykes was an offensive analyst at TCU in 2017, when he watched games from the pressbox while in a similar advisory role for Patterson. Dykes then was SMU’s coach the past four seasons before returning to the other side of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

But how Patterson will actually impact the prime-time game is still a bit uncertain.

“I don’t know what Gary’s role is there,” Dykes said. “It’s hard for me to evaluate that. I know Gary’s a very good coach. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. I know he obviously knows our players. So I don’t know.”

Alan Ali, the senior center who came from SMU to TCU with Dykes, didn’t play for Patterson. But he got to play against him, and sees some similarities with what the coach did with the Frogs and what Texas is doing now.

“I think here and there. Definitely not the whole thing,” Ali said. “But I can see some of coach Patterson’s schemes he throws in there. … I’ve noticed a little bit of that on film.”

Sarkisian generally doesn’t let staff members speak with the media, and Patterson has been relatively quiet anyway since his departure from TCU was announced on Halloween night 2021, a day after the Frogs fell to 3-5. It was described then as a mutual decision between him and the school.

Colorado transfer safety Mark Perry‘s debut with TCU this year came in the season opener against the Buffaloes. So he has a sense of what his teammates who played for Patterson are going through this week.

“Obviously, that will be big for them going against their former coach,” Perry said. “Just try to limit the distractions. It’s only a distraction if you let it be.”

Well, it could be pretty jarring to actually see Patterson on the other sideline in burnt orange.

Texas State hires Incarnate Word coach Kinne to lead Bobcats

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Texas State hired Incarnate Word coach G.J. Kinne on Friday to lead a Sun Belt program that has had only one winning season since moving up to the Bowl Subdivision in 2012.

The 34-year-old former Tulsa quarterback has made a fast rise in coaching since ending his professional career in 2017.

After three years as an offensive analyst at SMU, Arkansas and the Philadelphia Eagles, Kinne became offensive coordinator at Hawaii in 2020. He held the same role for UCF in 2021 before landing the head coaching job at FCS Incarnate Word this season.

Incarnate Word is 10-1 and averaging 53 points and 8.3 yards per play, both FCS highs, heading into its playoff game Saturday against Furman. Kinne will remain with Incarnate Word through their playoff run.

“It’s with great honor that I’m accepting the call to be next head football coach of the Texas State Bobcats,” Kinne said. “We are going to play fast, have relentless energy, and when the going gets tough, have the mental confidence to win tight games in the second half and represent the state of Texas. Eat ‘Em Up!”

Texas State fired Jake Spavital last week after the Bobcats won just 13 games in his four seasons.

Kinne signed a five-year contract, the school said. Terms were not immediately released.

“My goal was to hire someone with demonstrated leadership experience, success as a head coach, established relationships with Texas football coaches, and success with recruiting and developing players,” said Texas State President Kelly Damphousse. “I sought a leader with a plan to capitalize on our location in the heart of the best high school football in the country.”

Florida Atlantic hires Tom Herman as football coach

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BOCA RATON, Fla. – Former Texas and Houston head coach Tom Herman will take over at Florida Atlantic as it heads into its first season in the American Athletic Conference.

The hire comes just days after FAU fired Willie Taggart, who went 15-18 in his three seasons with the Owls. Details of the contract with Herman were not immediately available.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Tom Herman to Paradise,” FAU Director of Athletics Brian White said Thursday. “Throughout the process and the more we talked with Coach Herman, the more it became apparent to me that he was the right person to lead our football program. Beyond his knowledge of the game, which is obvious by his success over the years, he also truly cares about the young people in his program.”

FAU’s final season in Conference USA ended with a 5-7 record and an overtime loss to Western Kentucky. The Owls will be in the American next season.

Herman returns to college football after spending the 2021 season with the Chicago Bears as an offensive analyst.

Herman was 22-4 at Houston, a mark that helped him land the head coaching job at Texas where he went 32-18 with four straight bowl trips in 2017-2020. He also was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State during the Buckeyes’ 2014 national championship season, as well as stops at Iowa State, Rice and Texas State.

“All the pieces are in place at FAU for us to be successful,” Herman said. “There are already great young men on this team, great facilities, a great location, a great recruiting base and great leadership, all of which are important to building a successful program.”