Former Texas Tech head coach Spike Dykes passed away Monday, the program has confirmed. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal was the first to report the news. He was 79.
Dykes played college football at Stephen F. Austin and immediately went into the high school ranks, bouncing around the state before landing a job on Darrell Royal‘s staff at Texas in 1972. He remained with the Longhorns for five years before leaving for assistant coaching jobs at New Mexico and Mississippi State.
Dykes returned to Texas to take another high school coaching job in 1980 before re-joining the college ranks as the defensive coordinator under David McWilliams at Texas Tech in 1984. He was promoted to the head coach after three seasons, where he remained for 13 seasons.
Under Dykes’s watch, the Red Raiders reached seven bowl games, won 82 games — Dykes left the school as its all-time wins leader — and earned two top-20 final rankings. Dykes’s success led to the Mike Leach era to follow his 1999 departure, and he also recruited current head coach Kliff Kingsbury to Lubbock in the late 1990’s.
Dykes was also, of course, the father of former Louisiana Tech and California Sonny Dykes, who is now an offensive analyst at TCU.