It has been a tumultuous few months for Gary Patterson, TCU’s long time football coach and one of the most recognizable figures in Fort Worth. But he received good news this week, as it was announced that he would be named the 2018 recipient of the Gene Stallings Award.
Presented annually by Dr Pepper, the award is given to an NCAA Division I college football coach who excels both on the field and in the community. Patterson, who is TCU’s all-time winningest coach, has been a fixture in Fort Worth since his installment as the leader of the Horned Frogs football program, working with a multitude of charitable organizations across the city. Named in honor of legendary coach Gene Stallings, the award was created as a tribute to his late son Johnny. Johnny, who was born with Down Syndrome, was a light to all those that had the pleasure of knowing him in his 46 years. The elder Stallings coached at Alabama and Texas A&M collegiately before spending time with the Dallas Cowboys and Cardinals in the pros. The award is given as a tribute to those who triumph no matter what the circumstances, making a difference in the lives of the players they know and the communities in which they live. The award is presented at a banquet in Dallas on May 7th, with all proceeds benefiting The Rise Schools, which give students with intellectual disabilities the education and social foundation to become contributing members of society.
Patterson is the second-longest tenured football coach in the FBS, and one of the most successful, with an all-time winning percentage of .737 (fourth best among active coaches). The honor is another feather in the cap of a man who has won 20 national coach of the year awards, won conference championships in three different leagues, has ten 11 win seasons, eight conference titles, and 18 bowl appearances in 20 years in Fort Worth.
Congratulations to Coach P on this much deserved honor!