College Football

Gary Patterson joins Texas staff: Longhorns hire legendary ex-TCU coach for off-field assistant role


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Legendary TCU coach Gary Patterson has joined the Texas football staff in an off-field capacity, a school spokesperson confirmed to the Austin American-Statesman‘s Brian Davis. Patterson’s title will be “special assistant to the head coach,” a job that was officially listed by UT athletics on Jan. 9. 

The former coach of the Horned Frogs was spotted at a recent Texas men’s basketball game sporting a Longhorns shirt while sitting in a suite with athletic director Chris Del Conte, his former boss in Fort Worth. 

The role is described as an “assistant head coach with special projects” and features a special focus on scouting and scheme evaluation. Patterson is known as a defensive wizard and will likely be tasked with addressing a unit that ranked No. 100 in total defense and No. 99 in scoring defense in 2021. 

TCU had a similar setup over the past two seasons when Patterson hired longtime friend Jerry Kill to serve as special assistant to the head coach. Patterson described Kill’s role as a head coach of the offense. Kill was recently hired as head coach at New Mexico State following Patterson’s departure. 

Patterson is one of the great head coaches in modern college football history after leading the Horned Frogs to a 181-79 record in 22 seasons. TCU notched six conference championships under his tutelage and won at least 10 games in 11 different seasons with six AP top-10 finishes. He was known best for his success against Texas, posting a 7-3 record against the Longhorns after TCU joined the Big 12. 

The longtime coach was fired in 2021, however, after failing to cross six regular-season wins for the fourth straight season. The Horned Frogs posted perhaps their worst defense of the Patterson era after ranking in the bottom 15 nationally in both total defense and scoring defense. TCU went across the Metroplex and nabbed SMU head coach Sonny Dykes to take over his rival program. 

Texas coach Steve Sarkisian posted the worst first-year record by a Longhorns head coach since Dana X. Bible in 1937 as the Longhorns snapped a streak of four straight bowl victories in a 5-7 season. The program also lost six consecutive games for the first time since 1957. 


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