Coach Gary Patterson out at TCU after 20 years, as Horned Frogs continue to struggle in Big 12

Gary Patterson is out at TCU after 20 years as coach of the Horned Frogs, the school announced on Sunday night.

In meeting with the longtime coach Sunday, school officials asked Patterson to finish this season, but he declined. Instead, Patterson, who coached in the Horned Frogs’ 31-12 loss at Kansas State on Saturday, will be replaced by Jerry Kill, an assistant on his staff, on an interim basis for a team that is 3-5 overall and 1-4 in the Big 12 this season.

"The story of Gary Patterson and the rise in the fortunes of the TCU football program over the last 20 years is clearly one of the most remarkable in the history of college football. We are grateful to Gary and Kelsey Patterson and appreciate everything they have meant to TCU and the Fort Worth community," athletic director Jeremiah Donati said in a statement Sunday night. "Under his leadership, TCU has become a nationally recognized brand name in football and in collegiate athletics."

TCU has dropped three in a row, all in conference, including Saturday’s loss to the Wildcats. That decision, in what turned out to be Patterson’s finale, was a microcosm of the problems that have plagued a proud program of late: The Horned Frogs can’t get off the field on defense, and can’t muster up enough offense in a points-heavy conference.

Skylar Thompson threw for 242 yards and a touchdown while also running for a score, and Deuce Vaughn added 109 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, as Kansas State rolled.

Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan was just 9 of 13 for 73 yards before getting benched in the third quarter, and Chandler Morris was 9 of 14 for 111 yards in relief. Kendre Miller ran for 102 yards, but most of it came on a 61-yard scamper.

Frustrations began to mount for TCU in the loss, and that didn’t likely help Patterson’s situation. Tempers flared midway through the third quarter when the Horned Frogs’ Josh Foster delivered a big hit on Thompson as he stepped out of bounds. Players from both teams joined the melee as TCU coaches tried in vain to intervene; two of their players and one from Kansas State were ejected for throwing punches.

The Horned Frogs’ frustration probably stemmed from the fact that they actually drove inside the Kansas State 5 on three occasions — two times in the first half and one in the second — and came away with a total of three points.

Indeed, it appears like a far cry from the seasons when the Horned Frogs were competing for conference championships and eyeing major bowl appearances. Only Kansas, winless in the Big 12 this season, is below TCU in the conference standings.

Patterson arrived at TCU as Dennis Franchione’s defensive coordinator in 1998 and took over as head coach in 2001. He went 181-79 at TCU and oversaw the Horned Frogs’ rise from being left behind after the breakup of the Southwest Conference back through Conference USA, the Mountain West and back into […]

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