Everybody wants Mike Leach, but if you can't land the pirate why not stay in the ballbark. Sonny Dykes is the current head man at Louisiana Tech and is one of the head coaches currently considered to be in the mix that might raise some questions in terms of his overall experience.
Just as with Turner Gill, Dykes would bring limited BCS level experience and in all reality a very limited resume as a head coach. But he does have the football pedigree and experience with several names that have already showed up on our list of potential candidates in the last two days.
SO who is Sonny Dykes? Let's find out.
First off Sonny Dykes is known as the son of Spike Dykes. Spike Dykes was the head football coach at Texas Tech prior to Mike Leach. Spike Dykes was at Texas Tech for over 15 years. Some of that time was spent as the defensive coordinator but a great portion of that time was spent as the head coach. The elder Dykes is considered somewhat of a local legend in Lubbock and was Texas football through and through.
But if you ask Tech fans if a father's success ensures the success of a son they'll point directly to the basketball court and say no. So what does the younger Dykes bring to the table?
Well first and foremost Dykes is considered a young up and comer. At just 40 years old Dykes is a 1993 graduate of Texas Tech University where he played baseball. Talk about feeling old, that's only 10 years prior to my graduation from Kansas. That means I have 10 years to become a major college football coach to keep up with Dykes. Interestingly enough, Dykes is one of the youngest coaches in college football joining Tennesse coach Derek Dooley and Miami coach Al Golden as the fourth youngest coaches.
After a few years in the high school ranks Dykes would get his first break in 1997 as a graduate assistant with Kentucky. The same Kentucky where Mike Leach was coaching. Interesting how these things connect sometimes. After Leach was named head coach at Tech, he immediately hired Dykes and the younger Dykes was able to return home so to speak as the wide receivers coach with the Red Raiders.
After five season Dykes would find himself in the role of offensive coordinator under Leach which of course many assume is just a title as Leach was believed to be the ultimate driver of the Red Raider offense during his time at Tech. Which may explain his next move. In the midst of one of the most successful runs in Tech history and during a time when the offense was an absolute juggernaut, Dykes headed out to the desert and joined Mike Stoops at Arizona.
During his three seasons as offensive coordinator at Arizona, Dykes would have an offense finish 10th and 16th nationally in 2007 and 2008 respectively. In 2009 Dykes was a finalist for the Broyles award which is given to the Nations top assistant. And that is when Dykes took his career to the head coaching level with a move to Louisiana Tech in January 2010.
During his first year with LaTech, Dykes would improve the schools below average passing offense elevating the team from 91st to 62nd nationally. During the current season Dykes and LaTech have just wrapped up a first place finish in the WAC and they will be headed to the Poinsettia Bowl with an 8-4 overall record.
When you look at Dykes in relation to Zenger's criteria it looks like a bit of a mixed bag. He has the pedigree, he's coached with some very good coaches and with programs that have been at the top of their game. But the head coaching experience is minimal and the success at the head coaching level isn't all that different than Turner Gill's.
If Zenger makes the decision to go with Dykes it will be because he believes Dykes could be the long term homerun. Maybe the next great unproven commodity that could help turn Kansas around and make the program his own. As a Kansas fan who has spent the last two years watching Gill attempt to accomplish that, it's a thought that is a little scary but each situation is a little bit different.