Ever since the Frogs beat Nevada-Las Vegas 51-3 in their last regular season football game, every TCU fan has wondered one thing: What bowl game are we going to?As the rumors flew – talk of the Las Vegas Bowl, the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn., the Houston Bowl and even the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., circulated – we all expected an invitation and an announcement any day.
Well, we finally got one Tuesday afternoon: TCU will head to the Houston Bowl on Dec. 31 to play a Big 12 Conference team for a bigger payout than most of the other possibilities would have offered.
But the news conference provided another much more unexpected bit of news: TCU has extended head football coach Gary Patterson’s contract until 2012 (it was previously set to run out in 2008).
In his five years on the job, Patterson has become one of the most successful head coaches in TCU history. He has achieved three 10-win seasons – 2002, 2003 and this year – something no TCU coach has ever done before.
Success like that does not go unnoticed. When coaches from schools like TCU achieve like that, higher-profile programs with head coaching vacancies typically come a-knockin’.
When Kansas State’s head coach Bill Snyder announced his retirement earlier in the season, most college football analysts put Patterson on the short list of possible replacements since he played and coached there years ago. And that could have been just the start of other programs knocking on TCU’s door.
In order to keep Patterson as the Frogs’ coach, TCU probably had to offer him more money in addition to extending his contract by four years, so TCU should be applauded for trying to keep such a great coach around. And who knows how much longer the university can afford to hold onto Patterson at a mid-major school, even one as successful as TCU?
So kudos to the athletics administration for keeping this great coach. And here’s hoping he keeps making the program great for years to come.
Associate Editor Jarod Daily for the Editorial Board