April 13, 2010
RUSTON, La. - Add the stamp of approval from a two-time Super Bowl champion and collegiate national champion coach to the resume of Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Dykes. That was the message delivered by former LA Tech quarterback Terry Bradshaw when he discussed Jimmy Johnson's assistance in LA Tech's recent coaching search.
Johnson, currently a member of the FOX NFL Sunday crew along with Bradshaw, first began his coaching career at Louisiana Tech as an assistant coach in 1965. Johnson went on to coach at Oklahoma State and Miami (Fla.) where he won three bowl games and the 1987 national championship with the Hurricanes. Johnson was hired as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys 1989 and went on to win two Super Bowls with the Cowboys before ending his coaching career with the Miami Dolphins.
While speaking with members of the media during the Bradshaw-Brooks Golf Tournament at Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant, La., Bradshaw explained Johnson's admiration for the selection of Dykes from the Louisiana Tech coaching search led by current Tech athletics director Bruce Van De Velde.
"We had to get a coach," recalled Bradshaw. "I had talked to Steve [Davison, current member of the LA Tech Athletics Council] and I called him from the FOX broadcast booth. I said 'I am going to get Jimmy [Johnson] involved,' and he said 'Would you?' I said yeah. So I got Jimmy involved and we went to work making phone calls. Two or three more people that Tech had looked at and one in particular. So Jimmy Johnson was working hard for our school and giving us recommendations. It's hard to find a good coach. They have to fit what we do here."
The process in finding Sonny Dykes and realizing he was the perfect choice for Louisiana Tech then involved former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach.
"When Sonny's name came up - Jimmy loves Mike Leach," Bradshaw explained. "Jimmy and I had taken Mike Leach fishing, the old Texas Tech coach. When Sonny's name came up, Jimmy knew his dad and loved his dad and heard nothing but great things. So Jimmy made phone calls to make sure what he was hearing was validated and it was. The Sonny hire was approved wholeheartedly by Jimmy Johnson. I didn't know anything about Sonny but I knew he ran the Texas Tech offense which I think is perfect for us."
"The AFL went to the wide open offense to get television ratings and to woo people away from the old slug it out, Green Bay, Chicago, New York Giants... They did it with colorful characters and wide open football and people loved it," explained Bradshaw. "That forced the merger. Sonny brings that excitement here. I didn't go to the [spring] game the other day because I was sick but I heard about it. It brings a little different way of doing things and I think it is good. I can't wait for us now. I'm looking forward to watching us on television."
"There is a lot of interest in our school now because of Sonny Dykes," continued Bradshaw. "Kids are realizing they are not going to play at Michigan, they are not going to play at Kansas. We're getting a lot of phone calls now because of kids wanting to transfer here. We have a former Tennessee wide receiver and a former LSU wide receiver. We want to start getting those kids out of high school and not get them from a transfer. The quarterback is the same thing. We have to start getting those guys and with Sonny, we will. We'll start getting those people."
Sonny Dykes has led Louisiana Tech through its first spring practice season with a new high-octane, no huddle, fast-paced offense that was debuted at the annual T-Day Spring Game on Saturday at Joe Aillet Stadium. The 2010 spring practice season ends Tuesday with the team's final spring practice at 4 p.m. as the team dons full pads for the final time at Joe Aillet Stadium before summer.
Bulldog fans can reserve their 2010 season tickets today by calling the Louisiana Tech Ticket Office at (318) 257-3631 or by visiting the Ticket Office online at LATechSports.com.
For the most comprehensive coverage of Louisiana Tech's spring football practices, check out Spring Football Central at LATechSports.com. For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.