At the time of writing this, I am doing probably the same thing that most of you are at this moment in time. Sitting on the couch watching the Kansas City Chiefs play on Monday Night Football.
I’ve got my dog asleep next to me, a PBR tall boy (I’m fine) in my hand, and 2018’s “A Star is Born” soundtrack playing through my google home speakers...and frankly I’m sad as hell. TCU is looking for a new head football coach for the first time since the year 2000 and for the first time during my tenure as a TCU fan...Gary Patterson will not be on the sidelines nor on my TV screen on Saturday. Strange to say the least!
I’m sure most of us had a similar relationship with GP that we have with our favorite characters on our favorite TV shows. He would pop up about once a week, have some good quotes, bring us joy/unintentional laughter, and then we wouldn’t hear from him until the same time next week. However, sometimes TV shows don’t get renewed, sometimes those shows come to their natural end...and that ending is not always satisfying.
Nobody wanted to see Gary go out in these kind of conditions. 4 consistent down seasons and in the midst of what is a season that has fallen incredibly short of expectations. Expectations that we are even able to have due to the man that is no longer coaching the team. Without the success that GP brought this program and built this program upon...TCU would probably still be in the WAC or CUSA.
That being said, the last 4 years have been very disappointing and he was in charge of the program, full stop. Despite having the chance to make bigger changes and address what was wrong with certain areas of the team, he held on to certain position coaches and just didn’t make a big swing when it came to overhauling the offensive staff. This resulted in the offense never being good at the same time as the defense. Then once the offense got semi competent, the defense when down the drain. On top of that Gary has had his handful of comments that were frankly...I’m going to be kind and say annoying, but it wasn’t hard to glimpse the frustration that even he was having from the season.
That’s just what happened guys and gals, I don’t know how to phrase it any differently. I made plenty of defenses for the sub par results over the past couple of seasons (not necessarily excuses) but I could not come up with anything really this year. This has been probably the hardest to watch season of the past 4 (even more so than the cheez-it bowl season) because I could see the program start to go backwards. If you’re not adapting and growing then you’re stalling and getting worse.
That’s why AD JD made the change.
Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die - some words from good Ol Jackson Maine that ring true today! Sometimes you have to move on and it was time for TCU to do the same.
Now all that being said, Gary has a statue on campus, is probably responsible for bringing more money into this university - other than maybe the Bass family - and is a TCU, Fort Worth, and College football LEGEND. He’s going to be fine and so is his legacy. Nobody should ever question that!
The man came in and grabbed the reigns of this basement doormat of a program and took it to the very tip top of the mountain several times (National championship trophy not included). The man - along with the 2007 Boise State team - is responsible for G5 programs being taken seriously in the modern football conversations...CFP Committee not included ;).
Defensive guru, shoe tying wiz, khaki adjusting king, hoarse voice GOD, he was all of these things. But maybe most importantly he was/100% still is beloved by every single TCU football fan.
Did he go out the way he wanted? Most certainly not. Did he build this program with his hard work, success, blood, sweat and tears? Yes! He didn’t try and replicate somebody else’s map for success. He did it the Gary Patterson way.
To quote a song very close to my heart, even though he was here for 20+ years, GP wasn’t going to coach for forever and in the words of Tracy Lawrence “Time Marches On” no matter what. In the next couple of weeks until the end of the season I am sure this site will be abuzz with who GP’s replacement will be, but for now I’m going to pour one out for GMFP one more time. Celebrate the coach and the program that he built that we all still root for.
And more...much more than that...he did it his way.
Tip of the visor Gary Patterson.