Former Texas Tech football coach SpikeDykes, whose homespun humor belied coaching acumen that took the Red Raiders to a school-record seven bowls fromthe late 1980s through the '90s, has died, the university confirmed Monday via social media. He was 79.
William Taylor "Spike" Dykes was born in Lubbock, played football at Stephen F. Austinand was a high school coach and college assistant for almost 30 years before landing his first college head-coaching jobin 1986 whenDavid McWilliams left for Texasafter one season as the Red Raiders' head coach.
It proved to be a good move on Tech's part. Dykes would go 82-67-1 in 13 seasons, and the82 victories were tops among Red Raiders coaches at the time he retired in 1999. Mike Leach, who took over for Dykes in 2000, would surpass his win total by two over the next 10 seasons.
Dykes' death prompted an outpouring of tributes on social media, some for his coaching skill and some for his wit.
Sad to hear the news on Spike Dykes - great coach, mentor, and person. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family & the Tech community— Bob Stoops (@OU_CoachStoops) April 10, 2017
Favorite Spike Dykes quote: "They say you lose 10 percent of your fan base every year. And I've been here 11 years, so you do the math."— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) April 10, 2017
Dykes earned threeSouthwest Conferenceand oneBig 12 ConferenceCoach of the Year honors. But more important to West Texans,he leveled the playing field against the Lone Star State's marquee program—despite sprinkling his analysis of his team with comments like"They whipped us like a tied-up goat."
He becamethe first Texas Techcoach to defeat Texas six times — no small feat considering the Red Raiders have 16 wins in the all-time series that dates to 1928.
Dykes was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame onMarch 11, 2008.
He is the father of Sonny Dykes, the former Cal coach who is now an offensive assistant at TCU.