Fans in Fort Worth know by now what they’re going to get with Gary Patterson in charge of TCU football — a team that is consistently competitive, no matter what the preseason outlook might be.
That’s just part of why Patterson, entering his 18th full season as the Horned Frogs coach, was ranked by Athlon Sports on Friday as the best in the Big 12 Conference heading into the 2018 campaign.
Here’s what Athlon’s Steven Lassan had to say about the man who has led TCU football to 160 wins and 11 double-digit win seasons since 2000:
“The Kansas native took over as TCU’s head coach for the 2000 bowl game and has guided the program through three different conference transitions. The Horned Frogs moved from the WAC to Conference USA prior to 2001 and shifted to the Mountain West in ’05. The program landed in the Big 12 before the 2012 season, and through all of the changes, TCU hasn’t missed a beat with Patterson at the helm. He’s guided the program to a 160-57 record and has just three losing seasons in 17 years as the head coach in Fort Worth. TCU has also claimed at least a share of six conference titles, finished No. 2 nationally in 2010 and just missed out on the CFB Playoff in ’14. In addition to his success as a head coach, Patterson is one of college football’s top defensive minds and has guided TCU’s defense to rank consistently among the best in the nation.”
To be fair, Patterson has had hiccups during his tenure, including a 4-8 record in 2013 and some struggles against Oklahoma State and Oklahoma since TCU joined the Big 12. But that is dwarfed by the overwhelming success that Patterson has brought to one of the small kids on the block when it comes to the national college football landscape.
He may not have a national title on his résumé, and whether TCU was robbed of a rightful opportunity to compete in the playoff in 2014 is a different story. But when it comes to making the most of the hand you’re dealt, Patterson is nothing short of a genius.
And Horned Frogs fans can only hope that trend continues as the second-longest active tenured coach at any FBS school writes more chapters of TCU football’s history.