DALLAS (FWAA) – TCU head coach Sonny Dykes, who guided the Horned Frogs to a 12-0 start, their first bid to the College Football Playoff and into the national championship game in this his first season in Fort Worth, is the winner of the Steve Spurrier First-Year Coach of the Year Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America and Chris Doering Mortgage.
Dykes is the first TCU coach to win the Steve Spurrier First-Year Coach of the Year Award, given to each season’s top coach who is working in his first season at that school. He was chosen for the Spurrier Award over fellow finalists Kalen DeBoer of Washington and Lincoln Riley of USC. Dykes also earned the FWAA’s Eddie Robinson Award as the National Coach of the Year. He is the first coach to earn both honors in the same season.
Under Dykes’ leadership and his special charisma with his players TCU posted a series of thrilling comebacks in the middle part of the season, wins that pushed the Horned Frogs from unranked in the preseason into the Top 10 of the national polls. A 17-point rally to beat Oklahoma State, an 18-point rally to beat Kansas State a week later, a defensive win at Texas and a walk-off field goal that beat Baylor in Waco sent TCU to the Big 12 championship and later into the College Football Playoff.
“I’m proud to announce the winner of the Steve Spurrier Coach of the Year is Sonny Dykes, who was chosen over two other strong candidates in coaches Kalen DeBoer and Lincoln Riley,” Spurrier said. “Dykes and his TCU Horned Frogs were at one time 12-0 and lost a heartbreaker in the Big 12 Championship but made the College Football Playoff. They beat Michigan to get to the final and finished second in the final AP poll. It’s well-earned and well-deserved for Coach Dykes.”
Dykes is only the third head coach in the CFP era to lead his program to the playoff in first season with his team. Picked to finish seventh in the Big 12 this season, TCU ascended to the No. 3 spot in both polls and the final CFP rankings. The Horned Frogs are just the second team to get to the CFP after beginning the season unranked in both major polls. TCU fell in the CFP National Championship to No. 1 Georgia, 65-7.
The unanimous Big 12 Coach of the Year became the first coach in conference history to start 12-0 in his first season. The Horned Frogs’ six wins over ranked opponents led the nation and TCU had 21 players receive All-Big 12 recognition from the conference’s head coaches. TCU was the Big 12's first 9-0 regular-season league champion since 2016, the first Big 12 team since 2009 to finish the regular season 12-0, and Dykes is just the fourth head coach since 1996 to reach that mark.
Spurrier, the College Football Hall of Famer who has also coached in the National Football League and other leagues, and former player and ESPN College Football Analyst Chris Doering will present the Player of the Year award at a reception planned for Feb. 20, 2023 at Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille in Gainesville, Fla. During the event, the presentation of the inaugural Steve Spurrier Legend Coach Award presented by Chris Doering Mortgage will go to Coach Bob Stoops for his stellar coaching career at Oklahoma from 1999-2016, where he notched a 191-48 record. Last year’s event was attended by both winning coaches, Coach Spurrier, Chris Doering, FWAA’s Mike Griffith, many other notable Gator and NFL greats, dignitaries from all three schools, members of the media and event sponsors.
During his career Dykes has also been head coach at Louisiana Tech (2010-12) and Cal (2013-16) and has been an assistant to head coaches Mike Stoops (Arizona), the late Mike Leach (Texas Tech) and Hal Mumme (Kentucky). He is the son of the late Spike Dykes, who coached Texas Tech in a school-record seven bowl games and was elected to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
For more information on attending or sponsoring the reception for both awards on Monday, Feb. 27 at Steve Spurrier's Gridiron Grille, please contact Tricia Garzon of the JAG Agency at 352-214-2331.
Chris Doering Mortgage, based in Gainesville, FL, was established in April 2007 as a residential lending company providing mortgage products including conventional, FHA, USDA and VA loans. The branch is a division of MortgageAdvisors.com – 3940 NW 16th Blvd., Suite A, Gainesville, FL 32605 – NMLS 70168/1937321. FHA Lender ID 2631500094. For more information, visit ChrisDoeringMortgage.com. College football analyst Chris Doering, former player for Coach Spurrier both in college and professionally, serves as the branch manager.
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at (214) 870-6516 or email@example.com.