Gary Patterson is one of the greatest to ever do it.
The Horned Frog Football leader remains as respected as any coach in college football, despite enduring back to back seasons below expectations in Fort Worth.
In a list released Tuesday by ESPN, Patterson came in as the 74th-ranked head coach in all the sport, good for fourth among active head coaches. Only Nick Saban (#2), Dabo Swinney (#31), and Mack Brown (#59) are ahead of him — each having the one thing that has alluded GP through his 19 years at TCU: a national title.
Of Patterson, ESPN said:
Patterson has the rare distinction of winning conference titles (and being named Coach of the Year) in three different leagues at the same school. He shepherded the Horned Frogs from Conference USA to the Mountain West to the Big 12. His teams have won six league titles, posted seven top-10 finishes and played in 17 bowl games in his 20 seasons. In 2010, TCU went 13-0 and defeated Wisconsin 21-19 in the Rose Bowl.
Boasting a 172-70 career record, Patterson has not only rebuilt TCU Football, he defines the program. More than any other modern-day coach on the list, he is synonymous with his school, having orchestrated a phoenix-like rise from the ashes of conference realignment and scandal. While fans grew frustrated at results over the last two seasons, this honor should give us all a healthy dose of perspective when it comes to how much GP has done and does mean to TCU Football.
Other active coaches to make the top 150 include Brian Kelly of Notre Dame, Jimbo Fisher of Texas A&M (#110), and Les Miles of Kansas (#140). Former Big 12 heads Bob Stoops and Bill Synder were also recognized.
Patterson was the highest-rated, but not only TCU coach to make the cut; all-time great, and namesake of Dutch’s Burgers, Leo ‘Dutch’ Meyer came it at 135.
If your resume includes two of the most distinguished quarterbacks in college football history, then you were obviously doing something right. But Meyer didn’t just develop all-timers Sammy Baugh and Davey O’Brien. He won 109 games in 19 seasons at his alma mater, including three Southwest Conference titles and the 1938 national championship.
Congratulations to Coach Patterson, and be sure to check out the rest of the list here.