Leach pays respects to his predecesor

From staff reports

WSU football Head Coach Mike Leach discussed his relationship with Spike Dykes, the head football coach at Texas Tech from 1986-1999 and Leach’s predecessor, following his death on Monday.

“Tremendous guy, [a] national guy,” Leach said about Dykes after Tuesday’s spring football practice. “[He’s] really what coaching is all about.”

Dykes led the Red Raiders to seven bowl games during his 13-year tenure and earned Coach of the Year honors three times in the Southwestern Athletic Conference and in the inaugural Big 12 season in 1996. A native of Ballinger, Texas, Dykes led Texas Tech to a school record four-straight bowl games from 1993-1996.

Dykes’ 82 program wins, 12 of which came against rivals Texas A&M and the University of Texas, were the most in school history before Leach surpassed the record in 2009. Leach finished with 84 wins at Texas Tech prior to his firing on Dec. 31, 2009.

“When I got involved with the job at [Texas] Tech, I wanted [Dykes’] blessing on it,” Leach said. “He was always extremely supportive throughout my entire career there.”

Dykes was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. Dykes’ two sons, Sonny and Rick, both followed his path to become division one football coaches. Sonny served as an assistant under Leach at Texas Tech from 2000-2007, and Rick was an offensive coordinator under Dykes at Texas Tech from 1986-1995.

Dykes’ memorial services will be held today in Lubbock, Texas, and on Friday in Horseshoe Bay, Texas. He was 79.

Reporting by Tyler Shuey