Dykes named keynote speaker for 2023 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FWAA) – The Charlotte Touchdown Club in conjunction with the Football Writers Association of America, officially announced today Sonny Dykes, Head Football Coach at Texas Christian University, as Keynote Speaker for the 2023 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet scheduled for Monday, December 4th.

"The Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Charlotte Touchdown Club are synonymous with each other for all they do for college football and to promote our sport," said TCU head coach Sonny Dykes. "My father was a great speaker for the Charlotte Touchdown Club a few years ago and it's an honor for me to be part of this year's ceremony recognizing the nation's most outstanding defensive player."

"The Charlotte Touchdown Club and Football Writers Association of America are thrilled to have Coach Dykes provide the keynote address for the 2023 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet," said John Rocco Executive Director of the Charlotte Touchdown Club. "We look forward to Coach Dykes' remarks and to the announcement of the 2023 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner at our black tie gala event held December 4th."

Sonny Dykes was introduced as TCU's head football coach on Nov. 30, 2021.

Dykes won 10 National Coach of the Year awards in his first season leading the Horned Frogs. TCU became the first program from the state of Texas to make the College Football Playoff and first from the Big 12 Conference to reach the CFP National Championship. Picked to finish seventh in the Big 12, TCU was No. 2 in the final Associated Press poll and the second team to be in the CFP after starting the season unranked. TCU also became just the third team since 1998 to play for a national title while beginning the season unranked. TCU's six wins over ranked opponents, including a victory over No. 2 Michigan in the CFP Semifinal at the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl, tied for the national lead.

Dykes is only the third head coach in the CFP era to guide his team to the Playoff in his first season at the helm. The unanimous Big 12 Coach of the Year, Dykes became the first head football coach in TCU and Big 12 history to start 12-0 in his first season. He was just the fourth head coach nationally since 1996 to accomplish the feat.

TCU was the first Big 12 team to complete the regular season with a 12-0 record since 2009 and the first league member to go 9-0 in conference play since 2016. TCU's 13 wins in 2022 tied a program record.

Dykes had three players win national awards. Quarterback Max Duggan was the recipient of the Davey O'Brien Award, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award while finishing second in Heisman Trophy voting. Cornerback Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson won the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back, and Derius Davis captured the Jet Award as the country's Return Specialist of the Year.

Dykes arrived at TCU after serving the previous four seasons as head coach at SMU, where he completed one of the more remarkable turnarounds in college football. Behind an offense that consistently ranked among the nation's best, Dykes guided SMU to 19 weeks in the national top 25 and three consecutive winning seasons for the first time since the mid-1980s.

The son of legendary Texas Tech football coach Spike Dykes, Sonny Dykes rebuilt SMU through his deep ties to the state of Texas, focus on recruiting in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and utilization of the transfer portal.

Dykes returned to TCU after being an integral part of past Horned Frogs' success. Before becoming SMU's head coach, he served as an offensive analyst for TCU in 2017. He was instrumental in the Horned Frogs posting an 11-3 record, reaching the Big 12 Championship Game and finishing with a No. 9 national ranking after a 39-37 victory over Stanford in the Alamo Bowl.

Dykes was 30-18 at SMU with a 25-10 record over his last three seasons. included in that total were SMU's first consecutive victories over TCU since 1992-93. His .625 winning percentage ranked fourth in program history for head coaches of more than two seasons. The 25 victories over three years tied for the second-most by an FBS team in Texas and just one off the lead. The 2019 Mustangs went 10-3, their most wins since 1984, and earned their highest national ranking (14) since 1985.

Known for his offensive mind, Dykes had the Mustangs 13th in the nation in total offense in 2021 with an average of 465.9 yards per game. SMU was 12th in 2020 and ninth in 2019.

Dykes was named a finalist for both the 2019 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award and the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award. He was also a semifinalist for the George Munger Coach of the Year Award.

In addition to setting numerous school records and ranking among the national leaders in most major offensive categories, Dykes also left his mark on the other side of the ball. In 2019, SMU led the FBS in sacks per game and ranked third in tackles for loss. SMU's 51 sacks and 111 TFLs were program records. SMU had nine players receive all-conference honors, its highest total since 2011.

Dykes also served as head football coach at Cal (2013-16) and Louisiana Tech (2010-12).

In 2011, Dykes was the Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year as the Bulldogs won the WAC Championship and earned a Poinsettia Bowl appearance against TCU.

While at Cal, Dykes took a team from one win in 2013 to an 8-5 record two years later and a win over Air Force at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl in Amon G. Carter Stadium.

Cal's eight wins in 2015 marked the school's most since 2009. The Golden Bears also cracked the national rankings for the first time since 2010, climbing as high as No. 19. Additionally, Dykes led Cal to a pair of wins over Texas.

Dykes developed quarterback Jared Goff into the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 National Football League Draft.

Under Dykes, Cal's offense set a modern-era record for points scored and shattered all the program's offensive marks. Cal became the first college football team in history to have six players with 40 or more receptions and three 500-yard rushers in the same season.

In Dykes' first season in Berkeley, the Golden Bears became the first team in the program's modern era to score 55 or more points in a game three times, including at least 40 on five occasions and 30 or more 10 times.

Dykes came to Cal after spending three seasons as head coach at Louisiana Tech. In his final campaign in 2012, he directed an offense that led the nation in both scoring (51.5 points per game) and total offense (577.9 yards per game). The 51.5 points per game marked the fifth-best scoring average in history by an FBS team.

After inheriting a LA Tech team that was 4-8 the year before his arrival, it took Dykes just two seasons to lead the Bulldogs to the 2011 WAC title. It was the program's first league championship in a decade. He compiled a 22-15 overall record with the Bulldogs and won 16 of 17 regular-season games during one stretch.

Dykes' 2012 Louisiana Tech team had road victories over Illinois, Houston and Virginia while reaching as high as No. 18 in the national rankings.

Prior to becoming a head coach, Dykes worked as an assistant in the Pac-12, Big 12 and SEC under Mike Stoops (Arizona), Mike Leach (Texas Tech) and Hal Mumme (Kentucky).

As offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Arizona for three seasons (2007-09), Dykes helped the Wildcats to the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl and 2009 Holiday Bowl. Arizona had previously gone 10 seasons without a bowl appearance.

Under Dykes' direction, Arizona's offense set multiple school records and ranked among the national leaders in passing yards and scoring.

Prior to his tenure at Arizona, Dykes spent seven seasons at his alma mater Texas Tech, serving as receivers coach from 2000-04 and adding the title of co-offensive coordinator from 2005-06. The Red Raiders made seven straight postseason appearances and won 56 games during the span, including four bowl victories over his last five seasons. In 2006, Dykes received the Mike Campbell Top Assistant Coach Award from the American Football Coaches Association, the same year he was recognized as one of the top 25 recruiters in the country by Rivals.

Dykes began his collegiate coaching career with a two-year stint (1995-96) at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas. He also was a baseball assistant at Monahans High School in Texas in 1994 and a football assistant at Richardson's J.J. Pearce High School in 1995.

Born in Big Spring, Texas, Dykes received his bachelor's degree in history from Texas Tech in 1993 and was a member of the Red Raiders baseball team for two seasons. He and his wife, Kate, have two daughters, Ally and Charlie, and a son, Daniel.

The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, North Carolina region. Since its inception, the club has grown as well as diversified boasting a sponsor team of more than 80 companies. The Club's activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding Citizenship, Scholarship, Sportsmanship, and Leadership of area athletes and coaches. Through individual and corporate support, nearly $3,000,000 has been raised and donated to benefit the Touchdown Club's scholarship efforts.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses college football’s most prestigious awards. The NCFAA’s 25 awards have honored more than 800 recipients since 1935. Visit NCFAA.org for more information.

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 game-day 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 tiger@fwaa.com.