He's Texas Tech's all-time winningest head football coach, and his legacy is as vast as anyone's in West Texas. A legend because of his dedication and determination, Coach Spike Dykes left Texas Tech in 1999 after 13 seasons with the Red Raiders.
No one has ever given more time, energy and heart to Texas Tech's football program. He created a contender out of the Red Raiders and racked up some still unprecedented achievements while on the sidelines at Jones Stadium.
When Spike Dykes took over as the Red Raiders head coach the challenge was nothing short of monumental. The team had experienced only one winning season in its previous eight years. Dykes instantly elevated the program. In his 13 seasons as head coach, Spike Dykes led the Red Raiders to a school record four consecutive bowl games and he also led the team to its only Cotton Bowl appearance in 59 years.
When Dykes returned to the Hub City. We caught up with him at a special ceremony at the United Spirit Arena. It was a Red Raider Hall of Honor induction ceremony for two of Dykes' former players, Billy Joe Toliver and Tyrone Thurman. "It feels great to be back here. Especially when you get a chance to honor two guys like Billie Joe Toliver and Tyrone Thurman," says Dykes.
Dykes spent 41 seasons total on the sidelines, including his last 13 here at Tech. Now in retirement, Coach Dykes says he's had an opportunity to rekindle some personal relationships. The three time Southwest Conference Coach of the Year and first ever Big Twelve Coach of the Year is now possibly in the running for father and husband of the year honors. He spends most of his free time now with his wife and family. He's also taking time to relax. "Playing a little golf. Playing a little tennis. Well, I say that, but actually it's my wife Sharon playing all the tennis. I went with her once, so I guess I'm playing a little tennis. Doing a little fishing off the coast and just having a good time," says Dykes.
Coach Dykes is also still a huge college football fan. He admittedly can't quite shake his love of the game. Coach Dykes has been spending Saturdays this fall behind the desk as an analyst for Fox Sports Southwest, and one of his favorite hobbies is keeping up with Red Raider football. "I sweat 'em out every Saturday. I think they're doing great. They have an explosive offense and with Kliff Kingsbury, they're just an exciting team to watch. I think they've done well and will continue to do well," says Dykes.
If you're wondering whatever happened to those two other guys you just saw, Billy Joe Toliver and Tyrone Thurman? Well, after a 10 year NFL career Toliver is now retired, playing golf and raising his five children.
After several years in the Canadian Football League and Arena Football League, Thurman is now working in Irving, Texas in the Parks and Recreation Department with area teens.