Dykes talks about taking Louisiana Tech jobby Anthony Gimino on Jan. 20, 2010, under Sports
Arizona offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes was announced as Louisiana Tech’s head coach late Wednesday afternoon, leaving the Wildcats without a key coach two weeks before signing day.
At his introductory press conference, Dykes said that as of yesterday, he still “fully expected” to be at Arizona. “That’s the way this business goes sometimes,” he said about a fast-moving coaching search.
Dykes thanked Arizona coach Mike Stoops and the Wildcat players, although he did incorrectly refer to his former school as “Arizona University.”
“Without them,” he said of the Arizona coaches and players, “I wouldn’t have this great opportunity to represent Louisiana Tech.”
Dykes replaces Derek Dooley, who resigned late last week to become the coach at Tennessee, which had to replace Lane Kiffin, who left for USC when Pete Carroll bolted for the Seattle Seahawks.
It was an unkind late spin of the coaching carousel for the Wildcats, who already have replaced defensive coordinator Mark Stoops with Greg Brown, hired from Colorado to coach the secondary and be co-coordinator with returning linebackers coach Tim Kish.
Dykes, 40, spent the past three years at Arizona, importing a lite version of the pass-happy spread offense he learned under Mike Leach at Texas Tech.
Arizona set team records for most pass attempts in his first season, averaging 44.3 per game in 2007, before settling on a more balanced approach. Dykes has been considered head coaching timber for the past couple of seasons, but Wednesday’s news — especially coming so late in the “coaching change” season — mostly came out of the blue.
“This has been a crazy 48 hours and 24 hours and six hours,” Dykes said. “It’s been a whirlwind.”
He added later: “It’s something I have worked my entire life to get to this point, and I have had a lot of great mentors.”
He further added: “There are not two more different people in the world than Mike Stoops and Mike Leach. They’re polar opposites. When you have an opportunity to work with those kind of guys, you can’t help but learn something.”
Dykes inherits a team that was 8-5 last season, including a 17-10 win over Northern Illinois in the Independence Bowl.
He called it the “right program at the right time” and said that he asked his dad, legendary former Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes, for advice. “The advice he gave me is that there is no reason to look at any job if you don’t think you can win there,” Sonny said.
Added acting athletic director Bruce Van De Velde said Dykes was on his list as a potential head coaching replacement, which was reinforced by the school’s executive search committee. Van De Velde said Dykes absolutely nailed the interview for the job.
“What a big day for Louisiana Tech, huh?” Van De Velde said.
Yep. Not so much for Arizona, though.