Rick Dykes, 40, was a major factor in Texas Tech University’s offensive production during the last decade and is expected to foster a wide-open approach to the offensive attack in his first year as Arizona’s offensive coordinator.
He returns to coaching after a year working in private business. His experience at Texas Tech spanned 10 years, and he spent his final four years from 1996-1999 as offensive coordinator.
His work with UA’s offense during spring practice showed that UA’s 2001 unit will be one that puts a high priority on an effective passing game that saturates the field and will complement that emphasis using all the capabilities of some quality running backs – a balanced yet unpredictable approach is the objective.
As to balance, in one of Dykes’ most prolific years coordinating the Red Raiders’ offense, Texas Tech averaged 202 yards rushing and 203 yards passing per game in 1998. That’s the kind of production UA’s John Mackovic will have in mind as he and Dykes plan game strategy. Dykes has a solid background working with both quarterbacks and runners.
The 1998 Tech team was led by running back Ricky Williams, the fourth-leading rusher in the nation with 1,582 yards, and a pair of quarterbacks, Rob Peters and Matt Tittle, who each had effective percentages and helped the club reach the 200 yards-per-game plateau.
In Dykes’ first year as coordinator in Lubbock, the club managed a number of school game and single-season offensive records, and some of them must have caused some chagrin on the part of Mackovic, then head coach at Texas. The Red Raiders passed for 392 yards against Texas to set a school mark for a Big XII game, rushed for 482 yards against Baylor to set a school Big XII game record and combined for 608 yards in total offense against Texas. The team also ran 103 offensive plays against Kansas State and accumulated 29 first downs and scored 45 points against Baylor.
TTU quarterback Zebbie Lethridge, a 6,700-yard career passer, flourished with a couple of all-time top-10 single-season passing years under Dykes’ tutelage in 1996 and 1997, and reached the charts with 364 passing yards against Texas in 1996 and 359 passing yards against North Texas in 1997. Williams had a pair of 250-yard rushing games.
Tech’s offense took off quickly in Dykes’ tenure as coordinator. In his first season, he helped running back Byron Hanspard earn accolades as unanimous All-American and the Doak Walker Award winner. Hanspard finished second in the nation in rushing and was a Heisman Trophy top-10 finalist. The Red Raiders averaged 429 yards per game and were second in the Big XII in rushing, third in total offense and fourth in scoring.
In 1997, Dykes’ work with the Raiders’ offense led running back Ricky Williams and wide receiver Donnie Hart to become two of the most explosive players in the Big XII. His earlier work as running backs coach in Lubbock from 1990 to 1995 also produced dividends. Byron “Bam” Morris won the 1993 Doak Walker Award with 1,752 yards and four 200-plus rushing games, on the heels of a 1,279-yard season in 1992. Hanspard had 1,374 yards in 1995 and a Tech-record 2,084 yards rushing in 1996. He finished as the Tech all-time leader with 4,219 yards. Dykes has shown an abiliity to get things done off the field as well. He recruited Hanspard, Morris, Williams and defensive end Monte Reagor, a unanimous 1998 All-American. Each was a high-round NFL draft pick.
Dykes is the son of former Texas Tech head coach Spike Dykes, who owns the longest head coaching tenure in school history, 13 years from 1987 to 1999. The father-son combination helped the Raiders beat Oklahoma, a year away from its national championship season, in both coaches’ final game at TTU.
Dykes is a 1979 graduate of Albuquerque Sandia High School and a 1982 graduate of New Mexico. He entered the coaching ranks at his high school alma mater while still in college and after graduation served as a graduate assistant at Rice in 1982 and 1983. He received a master’s degree at Rice in 1984. He was promoted to full-time status as running backs coach at Rice from 1984-87 and coached receivers at Temple in 1988-1989.
Dykes is a member of the American Football Coaches Association assistant coaches committee.
Dykes and his wife, Shelley, have three children – daughters Jessica, 14, and Julianne, 11, and son Dustin, 3. Dykes’ brother, Sonny, is currently on the Texas Tech staff, coaching wide receivers.
The Dykes File
|Full Name:||Rick Dykes|
|Date of Birth:||Jan. 12, 1960|
|High School:||Sandia High School, Alburquerque, N.M.|
|Recruiting Areas:||Metropolitan Dallas/Forth Worth, East Texas|
|Game Day:||Press box|
|Bowl Experience:||1997 Independence, 1996 Alamo, 1995 Copper, 1994 Cotton, 1993 Hancock (with Texas Tech).|