Former Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes dies at the age of 79 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock


Former Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes dies at the age of 79

Spike Dykes honored on Jones AT&T Stadium scoreboard (Source: KCDB Photo) Spike Dykes honored on Jones AT&T Stadium scoreboard (Source: KCDB Photo)
Spike Dykes (Source: KCBD Video) Spike Dykes (Source: KCBD Video)
Spike Dykes (Source: KCBD) Spike Dykes (Source: KCBD)
Will Rogers statue wrapped in black to honor Coach Spike Dykes (Source: KCBD) Will Rogers statue wrapped in black to honor Coach Spike Dykes (Source: KCBD)
(Source: KCBD) (Source: KCBD)

Former Texas Tech Head Football Coach Spike Dykes died Monday morning at his home in Horseshoe Bay. He was 79-years-old.

Memorial services for Dykes will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at First United Methodist Church in Lubbock and then 2 p.m. Friday in Horseshoe Bay.  

Coach Spike Dykes left Texas Tech in 1999 after 13 seasons with the Red Raiders.

"I think you coach because you love kids," Dykes, known for his wit and West Texas charm, said early in his Tech career. "And if you do that, every day is rewarding. That way you never get your priorities out of perspective. It all boils down to the chance to work with young people, hopefully be an influence on them for the better and help them make something of themselves that is positive." - Spike Dykes

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.

He was the first coach in school history to lead the team to seven straight bowl-eligible seasons and to coach the team in seven bowl games.

He was a three-time Southwest Conference Coach of the Year and first ever Big Twelve Coach of the Year.

Dykes was the school's first coach to defeat the Texas Longhorns in six different seasons. He earned three Southwest Conference and one Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year honors.

His record at Tech stands at 82–67–1.

On November 20, 1999, Dykes retired after 13 seasons as head coach. Dykes spent 41 seasons total on the sidelines.

Congressman Jodey Arrington issued this statement on Monday:

"Anne and I are saddened by the loss of our friend and legendary Red Raider football coach, Spike Dykes.  He exemplified the best of Texas Tech University and embodied the character and color of West Texas like no one else.  Our prayers are with Rick, Bebe, Sonny and their families."

"Red Raider Nation mourns the loss of legendary head coach Spike Dykes," Tech Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt said. "Anyone who met Spike quickly learned how much he loved West Texas and most importantly, Texas Tech. The legacy he left at Texas Tech will be remembered forever."

"Words cannot describe what Coach Dykes meant to West Texas, Texas Tech University, this program and me, personally," said Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who was recruited by Dykes and was the starting quarterback in his final game as head coach. "He was a great coach and an even better person. He will forever be remembered as one of the all-time greatest Red Raiders."

In the years following his retirement, Dykes would always proclaim he was "the luckiest guy in the world" at many of Tech’s recruiting reviews and banquets. 

His belief in that statement was not due to his coaching career but instead by his family which consisted of his wife of over 50 years Sharon as well as their two sons, Ricky and Sonny, and their daughter, Bebe Petree. Sharon preceded Spike in death in 2010.

Texas Tech Chancellor Robert L. Duncan:

"He empowered and inspired Red Raiders on and off the field – the fierce, courageous, selfless Spike Dykes will never be forgotten."

Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec:

"Every now and then someone comes along who distinguishes themselves from the rest. Spike Dykes was one of those people. His wit, charm and warm personality personified the West Texas spirit and he had an indelible effect on everyone around him. He truly loved Texas Tech University and the university community loved him back. We extend our thoughts and prayers to Rick, Bebe and Sonny and all of Spike’s family and friends. Our hearts are heavy today, but our many fond memories give us pause to reflect on this wonderful man."

Former Texas Tech President Donald Haragan (1996-00):

"It was an honor for me to work with Coach Dykes. He was not only a colleague, but a good friend as well, and was probably the most transparently honest person I've known. Of course, his humorous stories are legendary. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. It was a joy and privilege to work with Spike."

The Saddle Tramps, a Texas Tech University spirit organization, wrapped the Will Rogers statue in all black to honor Coach Spike Dykes. The statue showing Will Rogers and his horse Soapsuds, was dedicated on the Texas Tech campus on February 16th, 1950. According to Texas Tech University, the Saddle Tramps wrap Old Will with red crepe paper before every home game. The two are wrapped in black crepe paper to mourn national tragedies. 

Will Rogers statue wrapped in black to honor Coach Spike Dykes (Source: KCBD)

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