• The KillerFrogs

Official Coaching Search Thread….

Prime BEEF

Active Member
He’ll be back. Just like the time he blew up Virginia Frog for being a bad fan for not flying to every game on a private jet like he did or some [ #2020 ] like that. He’ll pout and then resurface.
I’m doing fairly well but can’t even comprehend being wealthy enough to have my own private jet. Kudos to all of the posters that do and also use some of their earnings to support TCU.


Was I supposed to type something here?
I’m doing fairly well but can’t even comprehend being wealthy enough to have my own private jet. Kudos to all of the posters that do and also use some of their earnings to support TCU.
I once looked at just subscribing to a service where you got a few flights a year, purely for "Hey, honey! Let's go here!" reasons. The stated costs turned my hair white...
@Gary's Shirtless Revenge still has an autobiography to produce.
Honestly, I've been thinking about it... Acting on some advice from fellow frogs, it's probably best to set a lot of the more "personal" stuff aside, including from the just concluded coach search. The momentum is so positive right now.

However, in light of what I read on here and what some of you appear to believe, I think it's worthwhile to give you a few artifacts to put into the official record (mixed with some general history to protect the innocent):

- GP's contract extension in 2017, negotiated by CDC, was supposed to be his last. It went through the 2023 season (June 2024), and it was clear between the parties at that time that GP's goal was to build on the 2017 success, keep TCU on top through what TCU thought would be extended Big 12 rights agreements, and then retire on top. Over the years, GP has told folks (including me, once) that he might retire after 2019, then it was 2020, later became 2025 or "never," but it's safe to say that retirement has been a moving target for the past decade.

- 2018-2019 went about as bad as possible (ask anybody on or around the team those years), and two key things changed: GP's tune on retirement (started waffling on timelines), and the schools feelings on him as a HC. GP's comments about transfer rules, & his unhappiness with how the sport was changing came across different than previous "verbal stumbles"...2017 started looking like a blip on what was otherwise a downward trend. He wasn't ADJD's guy (not to say ADJD didn't like him), and losing wasn't helping. When this "downturn" coincided with the fundraising for the east side (which never got to 100% donor-funded, despite the funny economics TCU touts), and the beginning of the rumblings that the Big 12 was in trouble, pressure mounted.

- After the 19 season, GP was told changes needed to be made. There were concerns about the offense and "staying with the times," there were concerns with assistants GP stuck by that were clearly falling behind in their profession, as well as overall with how GP wanted to run the program. It was a very 2010 mindset when in reality 2020 college football (pre-pandemic) was a totally different sport. GP fought this tooth/nail, hiring Kill was part of a compromise effort that in retrospect was GP circling the wagons... "his way or the highway."

- The GP "music career" exploration was, in retrospect, a terrible idea and showed just how disconnected GP had become. Instead of recruiting 24/7, we're recording country songs?

- In case it wasn't obvious, Kill as the "CEO of the Offense" over Cumbie and Meach didn't work. Contrasting styles, different philosophies, disagreement on player recruiting and evals, etc... Meanwhile, TCU's defense got worse, in part because GP refused to believe that A) His defense had been adapted to, B) He didn't want to believe CFB had changed and the best athletes were all playing offense only, and C) The guys who would come play just weren't able to pick things up like they used to, and GP/Chad/etc. couldn't break through.

- Anybody who has been around the program will tell you the "N word" controversy changed GP, and his relationship with the players never recovered. Just another nail in the coffin. I was told at the time there was a discussion of asking GP to retire ahead of the 2020 season, I'm not sure if or how far that went.

- The pandemic probably saved GP and gave him 1 more year than he would have had otherwise, in my opinion. Despite what was said otherwise, after 2020 there was a debrief, and it was made clear that something on the order of 8+ wins was needed in '21 to "demonstrate progress." I'm adding the 8+ wins from context, but I think that's about right. When Tx/OU announced their impending departure, things only got more stressful... Losing programs aren't terribly desirable, especially when TCU doesn't have the undergraduate size/huge alumni following to fall back on.

- Conversations started in-earnest after the SMU and Texas losses (team was 2-2)... There was hope things could turn around, but you had to be ready... what would a change look like? The BMD's didn't fold until WVU, and by then ADJD had been laying the groundwork. This ultimately included discussions with reps for a number of likely target coaches, including Sonny, who from the start both A) Fit the profile of who we would want/be able to get, and B) Was forthright in his interest in the job.

- The comment that really accelerated things, which I wish hadn't ever been known, was Gary's "threat" to the team regarding the assistants. I spoke with somebody who was in the room, and as always with GP I don't think he meant to say what he did, but it was understood by all that he was telling everybody (indirectly) that BECAUSE the team was "quitting" he would be firing a number of favorite assistant coaches. He did say something to the effect of, "I'm not going anywhere." Needless to say, an already beleaguered locker room got worse, and you had players, coaches, and parents calling TCU staff inquiring about GP's behavior. I feel bad for the guy, my perception is he knew it was ending, and for guys like that it's hard to know how to act. Really, you could probably look at a number of comments throughout the last few years but especially this season and see that.

- GP was never told after the WVU game he had to "make changes or else"... That conversation happened back after 2019, in so many words at the time. Instead, ahead of the KSU game, it became obvious to GP what was happening (agents called, scuttle in the industry) and he asked for a meeting with VBO/ADJD. By then, TCU leadership had made their decision, it was a matter of timing/rollout. They had that conversation either Thursday, Friday, or Saturday (can't remember), and then GP and Kelsey came in that Sunday to talk with leadership again. He was offered the chance to stay on through YE to help with the coaching search, contribute to it, hand off the team, and then finish his contract as a Special Advisor to the Chancellor (or AD, can't remember), but he didn't want to. I think it was half anger/pride, and half that he thought his presence would hurt the search. He was probably right on the second one.

- The search... TCU's thesis was this: The game is all about offense now, the portal/NIL is the future, and we need somebody who can come in and recruit and win FAST to stabilize the program ahead of realignment. A ton of guys were interested, but it really came down to two things: For the A-list guys, there were just so many openings rumored, most didn't want to commit to interview/go through the process, and there was some hesitance to join TCU as the "guy who follows the guy." The expectations might be too high, some thought (I'm inferring).

- Deion was not a serious candidate in my eyes... he had a conference call with a subset of the group, but it was clear he was not in a position to interview or take the job given his personal health situation. Plus, there was heavy resistance from some at TCU given his lack of experience with big-time CFB. It was a high upside and downside gamble, which isn't what TCU was looking for.

- Dave Clawson was the mystery candidate, but I don't think he was ever above #3 on the power rankings (from what I heard).

- Napier was a very serious candidate, and TCU was making progress in the negotiation, but once the FL job rumors started his team paused the negotiations.

- Dykes was the favorite from the start, he fit all the criteria and leaned in heavily from day 1. He REALLY wanted the job, and the "strategy" he presented was very compelling. Want evidence? Witness the past 48 hours. He also had the benefit of being the kind of guy that is heavily respected in the coaching community, and by GP, not to mention TCU "knew him" a little from his time at TCU as an analyst. At all times, all sides felt comfortable with each other... No shotgun marriage, not leaps of faith, just "the guy."

- The task ahead of Dykes and staff is huge... The 1-week delay (my words) in starting at TCU was regrettable, I've heard we may have missed on 1-2 preferred coordinators because of that wait, but it might not matter at the end of the day. His plan: Recruit like crazy, heavy portal focus, to build up the roster heading into spring. Then, have a very competitive spring to see what the team has, with potentially more transfers over the summer (grad transfers, if needed). I think he believes he has an 8+ win roster (assuming recruiting success) for 2022, but a lot will come down to the defense... We need big help on D.

One note on all of this: This is mostly from memory, 50% second-hand, and lots of hindsight throughout. Take it or leave it, this is my "anonymous internet forum" view of the TCU Football world from the past ~5 years. If y'all heard any of it different, feel free to post it if you want, but I'm pretty confident the overarching themes and moments are right. Open to Q/A, though I may ignore your Q if I don't know or want to give an A.

It's been easily the most interesting time to watch TCU Athletics from my somewhat unique seat, more so than any other time in modern history. We shall see what this next chapter brings.