Gary Patterson will pass Dutch Meyer in all-time wins with TCU’s next victory
Big 12 Insider
They are several generations apart but tied at the top of the TCU record books. TCU’s legendary coach Dutch Meyer coached in the 1930s when facilities were modest and pretty much inconsequential.
Salt tablets and occasional water breaks were accompanied by ‘yes sir’ from those Meyer coached. Haircuts were high and tight. And the players were different. Meyer demanded a lot of his players and ground out 109 wins in 201 opportunities, added national championships in 1935 and 1938 and coached TCU’s only Heisman Trophy winner in Davey O’Brien (1938).
Fast forward to Fort Worth in 2012 where Gary Patterson is in a generation of college athletics where the facilities arms race is alive and thriving. TCU is on the verge of opening is new $164 million renovated Amon Carter Stadium Saturday evening against Grambling State.
Patterson is also at 109 career wins and should surpass Meyer with an expected win to become TCU’s all-team leading winner. Patterson already leads in winning percentage at .784. Patterson’s player generation is saturated with iphones, twitter and FaceBook accounts and extraordinary hair styles. But his players still say ‘yes sir’. That never goes out of style.
“The thing that impresses me about Dutch Meyer is the stories that he cared about them to do the right thing,’’ Patterson said. “I hope players say the same thing about me.’’
This Saturday night isn’t as big as Jan. 1, 2011 when TCU won the Rose Bowl with a victory over Wisconsin. But it’s close.
Patterson’s parents are expected to be in attendance. Should the script run according to plan, there will be a celebration to mark this achievement. Patterson has been at TCU for 15 seasons and watched the program evolve from also ran to national power. In the coaching industry, longevity is a rarity and at the same time reveals consistency.
He may appreciate it for a moment. But there is one truism about coaching: you do not get to enjoy wins for long.
“I don’t think Dutch would want me to get too caught up in it,’’ Patterson said. “He knows that I am busy. As soon as that is over, I will be thinking about [Kansas in Lawrence on Sept. 15]. That is what he would want me to do.”
- As we tweeted earlier on Tuesday, senior wide receiver Skye Dawson has been suspended for the Grambling State game for a violation of “institutional policy.’’ He should be back for the Kansas game.
- It sounds as if Patterson has his idea on how his running back situation will play unfold. He addressed Waymon James, Matthew Tucker and true freshman B.J. Catalon. As for senior Aundre Dean, Patterson said, “Aundre understands his role.’’ Take that for what it’s worth but it sounds like Catalon moved ahead of Dean during fall camp.
- Patterson said sophomore defensive tackle David Johnson is still not back to where he was from the knee injury he suffered in the spring but added, “he’s getting better every day.’’
- With this being the youngest team he’s seen while at TCU, Patterson said he has been pushing his players and pretty much forced them to grow up. “I’m going to need them for Oklahoma State or West Virginia.’’
- While the Horned Frogs are still days away from the Big 12 opener against Kansas, Patterson wants his program to aspire for a conference championship in spite of the projections where his team is picked fifth.
“We did not get in this conference just to compete,” Patterson said. “The top of the pyramid says to win a national title and a Big 12 championship. That is the level we are trying to get to, and that is not going to be any different. It does not matter what conference we are in.”