Sonny Dykes Named Head Coach at Louisiana Tech
Jan. 20, 2010
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech President Dr. Dan Reneau introduced former Arizona offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes as the 32nd head coach of LA Tech history in a press conference held in the Jarrell Room of the Charles Wyly Athletic Center.
Dykes, son of Texas Tech coaching legend Spike Dykes, has coached in the PAC-10, Southeastern Conference and Big 12 during his 16 years in the college football profession while also serving under some very successful head coaches including Mike Leach and Mike Stoops.
He won the 2006 Mike Campbell Top Assistant Award, presented by the All-American Football Foundation, and was a nominee for the 2009 Broyles Award, which goes to the nation's top assistant coach.
"I've been extremely pleased with the search process as directed by acting Athletic Director Bruce Van De Velde," said Reneau. "We had a variety and a diversity of well-qualified candidates. It's my opinion that we couldn't have selected a better man for the job."
He just completed his third season as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Arizona, leading the Wildcats to an 8-5 record and an appearance in the Holiday Bowl. That Holiday Bowl appearance marked Dykes' 10th bowl appearance as a coach with all 10 appearances coming within the last 11 years.
A spread-offense specialist, Dykes' offensive attack set at least five single-season records at Arizona while also racking up a pile of single-game marks in the UA record book. Former Wildcat quarterback Willie Tuitama, a disciple of Dykes, notched career numbers that are among Arizona's best.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to name coach Sonny Dykes as the next head football coach at Louisiana Tech University," said acting athletics director Bruce Van De Velde. "Coach Dykes has demonstrated throughout his coaching career all the leadership qualifications we are looking for in the next leader for our football program. His coaching success has been achieved at the highest level of competition, from the SEC to the Big 12 to the Pac-10."
Rivals.com cited Dykes as one of the countries brightest offensive minds and top ten college recruiters in the country.
"I want to start out by letting everyone know how honored I am to be named the head football coach at Louisiana Tech," said Dykes. "I have worked my entire life to get to this point and I have had lots of great mentors that have worked with me and taught me and brought me along. I am very fortunate to be here."
Dykes' Arizona team went 6-3 in the Pac-10 Conference during the 2009 campaign, finished tied for second in the league with Oregon State and Stanford. Fond of the passing attack, Dykes Arizona offense in 2008 ranked 16th in scoring and 33rd in total offense while developing and outstanding run-pass balance.
Dykes orchestrated an Arizona offense that was ranked 10th nationally in passing yards per game in 2007 as he coached then-junior Tuitama to honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors that year. That same season, he helped develop the offensive scheme that pushed receiver Mike Thomas to first-team all-league status as a junior and senior ('08).
Prior to his tenure at Arizona, Dykes was co-offensive coordinator working with then-head coach Mike Leach and inside receivers coach Dana Holgorsen running Texas Tech's wide-open passing attach in 2005-06 after having been Texas Tech's wide receivers coach since 2000. The Red Raiders were among the national top six in total offense and passing during the span.
Texas Tech was No. 3 in passing and No. 6 in total offense in 2006 under his co-direction, throwing for 370 yards and accumulating nearly 450 overall. He directed an offense that scored 32 points per game in 2006 with two receivers ranked top three in the nation and a third in the top 20 in receptions per game.
While in Lubbock, Dykes helped develop Joel Filani into a two-time first team All-Big 12 honoree and a sixth-round NFL draft selection by the Tennessee Titans in 2007. Receiver Jarrett Hicks also signed a free-agent deal with the San Diego Chargers that year.
Dykes also worked with quarterback Graham Harrell who completed 412 passes for 4,555 yards and 38 touchdowns in 2006, ranking Texas Tech third nationally in total offense that season.
Prior to his five seasons at Texas Tech, Dykes spent two non-consecutive seasons at Kentucky, first coaching tight ends as a graduate assistant in 1997 and then coaching special teams and wide receivers in 1999 under the "Air Raid" attack of former UK coach Hal Mumme. Dykes coached Kentucky's James Whalen to AP All-America honors after his Division I-A record for receptions by a tight end.
Sandwiched in between his two stints in Lexington, Dykes was the wide receivers coach at Northeast Louisiana where he helped receiver Marty Booker set school seas and career records and earn Blue-Gray and Shrine Game spots before getting drafted in the third round by the Chicago Bears in 1999.
A 1993 graduate of Texas Tech, Dykes lettered for three years as a baseball player for the Red Raiders.
At age 40, Dykes becomes one of the nation's youngest coaches in the Football Bowl Subdivision joining Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley and Temple coach Al Golden as the fourth-youngest coach in FBS.
Dykes is married to the former Kate Golding and the two have a daughter, Alta Caroline (Ally), who was born in 2008.
Dykes was chosen as Louisiana Tech's head coach after a national search began last Friday.
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