20 years later, Gary Patterson has made TCU football a winner

first_imgLinkedin Welcome TCU Class of 2025 TCU places second in the National Student Advertising Competition, the highest in school history Facebook First TCU spring game since 2018 gets fans primed for a highly-anticipated fall ReddIt Despite series loss, TCU proved they belong against No. 8 Texas Tech Colin Posthttps://www.tcu360.com/author/colin-post/ Taylor’s monster slam highlights big weekend for TCU Athletics Colin Posthttps://www.tcu360.com/author/colin-post/ World Oceans Day shines spotlight on marine plastic pollution FeaturesSportsFootballNewsTop Stories20 years later, Gary Patterson has made TCU football a winnerBy Colin Post – December 13, 2020 6086 Previous articlePhotos: TCU celebrates a Horned Frog ChristmasNext articleHoroscope: December 14, 2020 Colin Post A fox’s tail: the story of TCU’s campus foxes Twittercenter_img Linkedin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Colin Post Colin Posthttps://www.tcu360.com/author/colin-post/ + posts Life in Fort Worth ReddIt Another series win lands TCU Baseball in the top 5, earns Sikes conference award Twitter printLoading 77%Gary Patterson’s 20th SeasonHow the legendary head coach has built a program on hard work, humility, and successBy Colin Post There are three statues along the path leading to TCU’s Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena.The first two — Dutch Meyer and Davey O’Brien — are the men that built TCU Football. Meyer, whose name many TCU students know best from the restaurant “Dutch’s” on South University Drive, coached TCU from 1934-1952 and won two national titles.O’Brien is the most accomplished player in TCU history, winning the Heisman Trophy and a national championship in 1938.The third statue is of the man who revived it.With his arms crossed, polo tightly tucked into his khakis and visor fitted firmly on his head, Gary Patterson stands, carved from bronze, an icon on TCU’s campus.In his 20 seasons as a head coach, he’s collected 177 wins, 17 bowl appearances (11 of them wins), two AP Coach of the Year Awards, and countless other honors. In the 20 seasons prior to Patterson’s leadership, the Frogs won just 95 games and appeared in only four bowl games.After giving the university push back for years on the idea of a statue, the head coach agreed when the statue became the dying wish of a TCU donor.“I’m humbled that somebody would want to do it, the university would want to do it,” Patterson said when the statue was built. “But we’ve got football games to win.” On April 2, 2016, Patterson became just the fourth active head coach to have a statue erected in his name. Today, he and Alabama’s Nick Saban are the only of such coaches who are still active.It’s a symbol of the undeniable way that Patterson has lifted TCU Football to national prominence, though the coach’s resistance to the statue is even more reflective of his legacy.Stay humble. Win football games. That’s all.TCU head coach Gary Patterson joins his players for the TCU fight song following a matchup with Oklahoma in 2018. (Cristian ArguetaSoto/Staff Photographer) TCU head coach Gary Patterson joins his players for the TCU fight song following a matchup with Oklahoma in 2018. (Cristian ArguetaSoto/Staff Photographer) The @TCUCoachP statue is in place! pic.twitter.com/6rRktW409W— TCU Football (@TCUFootball) April 2, 2016 Patterson was awarded the Stallings Award for his impact on and off the field in 2018. Photo courtesy of the TCU360 Staff.Patterson was awarded the Stallings Award for his impact on and off the field in 2018. Photo courtesy of the TCU360 Staff.What a morning, and we aren’t even done yet! We are very thankful to help provide so many families with Thanksgiving meals this holiday season. BIG thanks to all the volunteers and our partners who helped make this happen! To support, text “BIGGOOD” to 707070 #TheBigGood pic.twitter.com/Nnwk8wPKGJ— TheBigGoodFW (@TheBigGoodFW) November 20, 2020 Heavy influenceIn an age where making a tough catch or a fancy dunk can get you thousands of followers and a blue check on social media, NCAA sports have become more about “self” than ever before. Over his 20-plus years of coaching, Patterson has made it clear that he never wants any part of that for his players. “Whether you’re in football or outside of football, humility is a lost art anymore,” Patterson said. “Humility actually makes you really good. You’ve got to have confidence, but you don’t need to have arrogance.” In 2009, he won the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award for coaching a team that excels in athletics, academics, and community service.That same year, TCU defensive end Jerry Hughes won the Lott Impact Trophy, an award for the college football defender who best impacts his team, university, and city.This year, linebacker Garrett Wallow is a Lott Impact Trophy semifinalist.”That’s definitely one of my biggest accomplishments,” Wallow said. “I definitely take pride in showing that I do a lot off the field.”That humility Patterson talked about also shows up in his players in many ways that often go unnoticed.Quarterback Max Duggan starts every press conference by shouting out his offensive line and his defense. After rushing for an astounding 154 yards and three touchdowns in TCU’s win over Texas Tech earlier this year, the young signal caller could only praise the efforts of his teammates.”I wasn’t throwing the ball great, and I need to do better on that,” Duggan said. “But the O-line and receivers and everyone stepped up in being able to run the ball and being able to attack them that way.” This dedication to hard work and humility has helped many former Horned Frogs earn good reputations at the professional level.Hughes, whose 11-year NFL career has seen its bulk for the Buffalo Bills, was recently praised by his defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier for being a team leader following the departure of several tenured members of the team.”I think humility is something teaching guys that you’ll do whatever you have to do to be successful,” Patterson said. “At the NFL level, that’s one of the things they talk about our kids when they come back, what they like about them.”Patterson mentioned former TCU running back Sewo Olonilua as someone in this category.After rushing for 1624 yards and 18 touchdowns in his four-year career with the Frogs, Olonilua went undrafted in the 2020 NFL draft. He was then picked up by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent before being signed to their practice squad on Sept. 6th.On Nov. 7th, Olonilua’s hard work paid off, as he was activated to the Cowboy’s active roster following several members of their running back core dealing with injuries.Another former Frog who has held on to Patterson’s hard work and humility is San Francisco 49ers cornerback Jason Verrett.A two-time All-American in college and perhaps TCU’s best cornerback ever, Verrett has dealt with serious injuries since being drafted by the San Diego Chargers in 2014. Though he made the NFL Pro Bowl in 2015, many have seen his career as a big “what if?”Earlier this season, Verrett was listed as fully healthy and grabbed his first interception since 2016 against the Los Angeles Rams, letting everyone in the country know that he was finally back to his lockdown ways.”All we did was watch JV [Verrett] work for the last couple of years, stay quiet, keep his head down and do everything he could to get back to this football team,” 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said in an interview with ESPN.Colin PostInfogramArlington strong…@Esteban_avila27 x @rimingtontrophy #GoFrogs #OLineU pic.twitter.com/qv2BthfSm5— TCU Football (@TCUFootball) October 14, 2020 TCU head coach Gary Patterson (center) joins his team in kneeling during a moment of silence to represent the Frogs’ fight against racial injustice prior to their 2020 matchup with Kansas State. (Heesoo Yang/Staff Photographer)TCU head coach Gary Patterson (center) joins his team in kneeling during a moment of silence to represent the Frogs’ fight against racial injustice prior to their 2020 matchup with Kansas State. (Heesoo Yang/Staff Photographer) Bigger than footballThis mantra has been evident for Patterson from the beginning, and it goes well beyond the football field.Soon after he was announced as head coach in Fort Worth, Patterson started the Gary Patterson Foundation with the goal of improving youth education in the city.Focusing on “ONE child at a time” the foundation has helped give hundreds of thousands of dollars to numerous schools in the Fort Worth area since its founding. Most recently, they have focused on improving and updating FWISD libraries with their “Launch Into Literacy” campaign that began in 2018. Even with the impact that his foundation continually makes, Patterson is constantly looking for more opportunities to make a difference.In the fall of 2020, the head coach teamed up with musician Leon Bridges and TV host Chris Harrison to form The Big Good, an organization focusing on helping non profits in the Dallas/Fort Worth community.The group’s first goal was to help families over Thanksgiving. On the Friday before Turkey Day, Patterson himself went to AT&T Stadium to help hand out meals to families in need. His willingness to go help despite the riskes posed by the pandemic demonstrates just how important helping others is to Patterson.”I don’t even have my name on it,” Patterson said of the Big Good. “It’s not that important to me as long as we can help people.”Patterson’s efforts over the years have not go unnoticed. In 2018, he won the Stallings Award, which recognizes a head coach for making a stark difference on and off the field.TCU defensive end Jerry Hughes (98) was a menace on the field and a servant off the field, winning the Lott Impact Trophy in 2009. Photo courtesy of APNewsroom.TCU defensive end Jerry Hughes (98) was a menace on the field and a servant off the field, winning the Lott Impact Trophy in 2009. Photo courtesy of APNewsroom.Recognizing athletes who make an impact on and off the field. Frogs UP for @gwallow_12 on being named a semifinalist for the @TheLottTrophy…#OneHuddle #GoFrogs pic.twitter.com/AjEkBhay7c— TCU Football (@TCUFootball) December 7, 2020 TCU head coach Gary Patterson shares a moment with linebacker Garrett Wallow as he is announced on Senior Day. Photo courtesy of @TCUFootball on Twitter.TCU head coach Gary Patterson shares a moment with linebacker Garrett Wallow as he is announced on Senior Day. Photo courtesy of @TCUFootball on Twitter.Former TCU running back Sewo Olonilua takes a carry during the Dallas Cowboys’ 2020 training camp. The back would get promoted to the active roster a few months later. Photo courtesy of APNewsroom.Former TCU running back Sewo Olonilua takes a carry during the Dallas Cowboys’ 2020 training camp. The back would get promoted to the active roster a few months later. Photo courtesy of APNewsroom.FEEEEEEEVA!!!! @Jfeeva_2 x @49ers : #LARvsSF on @SNFonNBC pic.twitter.com/aup59qK4sn— TCU Football (@TCUFootball) October 19, 2020 Winning as a teamPatterson’s resume goes on for miles. In 2011, he won the Rose Bowl, thrusting TCU into the national spotlight. In 2014, he dominated Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl, reminding the nation what they had missed in the inaugural college football playoff. In 2016, he completed one of the greatest comebacks ever to beat Oregon in the Alamo Bowl.He’s won every coaching award in the book, most of them twice. He’s sent dozens of players to the pros, many of whom have become pro bowlers and Super Bowl champions. He’s helped thousands in need in Fort Worth through the efforts of his foundation.Yet, despite all of that, Gary Patterson is only worried about right now. Every year, his message to his team continues to be, “We’re all we need.”After starting the season 1-3 following a blowout loss to Oklahoma, it’s clear that the Frogs took hold of that motto and ran with it, as they’ve won five of their last six games.Center Steve Avila said earlier this season that he would even be the water boy if the team needed.“I always tell the coaches, wherever you need me at,” Avila said. “I can hand out water if you need me to. I don’t have a big deal doing anything.”After playing left tackle at South Grand Prairie High School and joining the TCU scout team in 2018, Avila bought in to the Patterson’s unselfish culture by shifting to guard and center his redshirt freshman season. Now a sophomore, Avila has started six games at center, one at right guard, and one at right tackle for the Horned Frogs.It’s a good thing that TCU did not ask Avila to hand out water, as in October, he was named to the watchlist for the Rimington Trophy, which is presented annually to the top center in the country.”I think that’s what Steve was talking about,” Patterson said. “How are you a good teammate? How do you work? How do you play? How do you practice? All that stuff, and I think all of our guys who have been successful have gone forward and been like that.”Led by guys like Avila, the Frogs have showed what playing as a team can do for them in their last five games.During their hot streak, TCU has scored an average of over 41 points per game in their four wins. In the four games before that, the Frogs averaged just 23.75 points per game.In a win over Baylor on Halloween, five different Horned Frogs recorded a sack, as the Frogs put together their most balanced and effective pass rush of the season. Two weeks ago, TCU had two 100-yard receivers (Quentin Johnston and Derius Davis) and a 100-yard rusher (Duggan) for the first time in the Patterson era. Nevertheless, it was their defense that earned them the 29-22 upset win over No. 15 Oklahoma State.With just under four minutes remaining, safety Trevon Moehrig came up with an interception in the end zone helped seal the win for TCU.“We’ve just been getting better every week,” Patterson said postgame of his defense. “You got to have a little luck and make a couple of plays. But, the kids have been playing hard and we’ve been really playing like this since the Oklahoma game.” With the regular season now over, the Frogs finish 2020 at 6-4. Amid one of the most difficult seasons in sports history, TCU is headed to a bowl game for the 17th time in the last 20 years. His doubters will always remain, but perhaps this year more than ever, Gary Patterson has time and time again proved that he is one of the best coaches in college football. He may not have constructed TCU Football, but he sure did revive it, refusing to lose sight of the principles of humility, hard work, and success along the way.TopBuilt with Shorthand Colin Post is a Sports Broadcasting and Journalism double-major from Houston, Texas. Along with sports writing, Colin hopes to work in sports announcing after he graduates. Colin Posthttps://www.tcu360.com/author/colin-post/last_img

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