Gary Patterson

Gary  Patterson

Head Coach | 18th Season

Alma Mater:
Kansas State | 1983


TCU at Texas Tech Postgame Notes


TCU Drops 30-6 Decision to Kansas State


Post-Game Notes: TCU vs. Oklahoma



No. 13 TCU Opens Versus South Dakota State



Post-Game Notes: TCU 47, Oregon 41 (3 OT)

No. 11 TCU 47, No. 15 Oregon 41 (3 OT)


TCU vs. Stanford

Photos from TCU football vs. Stanford - Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017


Big 12 Football Championship: TCU vs Oklahoma

Photos by Gregg Ellman


TCU vs. Baylor (USATSI)

Photos from TCU football vs. Baylor - Friday, Nov. 24, 2017


TCU vs. Texas Tech

Photos from TCU Football vs. Texas Tech - Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017


TCU vs. Texas

Photos from TCU's football against Texas on Nov. 4, 2017 at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

Since taking over the helm of the Horned Frogs in December 2000, Gary Patterson is synonymous with TCU football and Fort Worth.

Patterson, the Horned Frogs' all-time winningest coach with 160 victories, has received 22 national coach of the year honors. He led TCU to a 2014 Big 12 championship, in just its third season in the conference, and a 2017 Big 12 Championship Game appearance. TCU has won six conference titles, in three different leagues, under Patterson. He has also been the coach of the year in each conference.

Patterson's .737 winning percentage (160-57) ranks fourth among active coaches nationally (minimum 10 years). The nation's second-longest tenured head coach, he is also one of just two active coaches with at least 160 victories at their current school.

TCU is one of just five programs nationally to finish in the top 10 in at least three of the last four years (2014, 2015, 2017). In 17 seasons under Patterson, TCU has posted seven top-10 finishes and 11 in the top 25.

The Horned Frogs have won at least 11 games in 10 of the last 15 seasons. Prior to Patterson's arrival on campus in 1998, TCU had just four 10-win seasons in its history.

During his 20 years on campus, including three seasons as defensive coordinator (1998-00), Patterson has seen TCU make 18 bowl appearances. TCU is 12-6 in bowl games with Patterson on its coaching staff and 10-6 with him as head coach. Prior to Patterson's arrival on campus in 1998, the Horned Frogs had only four bowl wins in their history.

As head coach, Patterson has coached 228 all-conference selections, 18 first-team All Americans, 22 Freshman All-Americans, three Academic All-Americans and a Rhodes Scholar. He has had 45 players drafted with a total of 113 in NFL camps.

Patterson's success on the gridiron is also mirrored in the classroom for his players. In eight of the last 10 seasons, TCU has been recognized by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) as one of the nation's leaders in its graduation rate for student-athletes. 

Patterson is widely regarded as one of the nation’s top defensive minds. Since the NCAA began tracking statistics in 1937, TCU trails only Alabama for the most times leading the nation in total defense. The Crimson Tide have been No. 1 six times, while all five No. 1 rankings (2000, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2010) for the Horned Frogs are under Patterson. From 2008-10, TCU became just the third program in NCAA history to lead the nation in total defense in three consecutive seasons.

Patterson received honorable-mention Big 12 Coach of the Year recognition in 2015 and 2017. The 2017 squad earned a trip to the Big 12 Championship Game and rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 39-37 Valero Alamo Bowl victory over Stanford to cap an 11-3 season. In 2015, despite having 20 starters sidelined at different points in the season and playing a total of 30 freshmen, which ranked second nationally, TCU posted an 11-2 record. The season culminated with a 47-41 triple-overtime victory over Oregon in the Valero Alamo Bowl. Trailing 31-0 at halftime, the Horned Frogs tied for the largest comeback win in bowl history and the second-largest ever in an FBS game. 

The most recent national honor for Patterson came when he was selected as the 2018 recipient of the Gene Stallings Award.

Patterson received 11 national coach of the year honors in 2014. He was honored by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, AFCA, Associated Press, Sporting News, Home Depot,, and He also received the Eddie Robinson Award, Paul “Bear” Bryant Award and Woody Hayes Award.

Patterson became TCU’s career leader in wins with a 56-0 victory over Grambling State in the 2012 season opener, a game that also marked the debut of the rebuilt Amon G. Carter Stadium. The previous TCU mark of 109 wins was held by Dutch Meyer (1934-52). 

TCU’s winning record in its first season in the Big 12 in 2012 came with the Horned Frogs fielding one of the youngest teams in the country. TCU tied for the national lead in most true freshmen played (16) as well as total freshmen (28) seeing the field. Nearly 70 percent of Horned Frogs who received playing time in 2012 were either freshmen or sophomores. TCU led the Big 12 in total defense with just one senior on its defensive depth chart.

In August 2011, Patterson was named the nation’s top coach by Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine. In leading TCU to back-to-back BCS appearances in the 2009 and 2010 seasons, including a 2011 Rose Bowl championship, Patterson received 10 national coach of the year honors.

Despite losing 26 seniors to graduation off his Rose Bowl championship team, Patterson led a 2011 TCU squad to a third consecutive Mountain West championship. It was the first time the Horned Frogs won a conference title in three straight seasons. TCU was also the first team in MW history to win the league championship in three consecutive campaigns. The 2011 campaign saw TCU record its fourth straight 11-win season and become the only program nationally to reach 11 victories six times in a seven-year span (2005-11).

In 2010, Patterson guided the Horned Frogs to an undefeated season and Rose Bowl championship. TCU finished second in the final polls with a 13-0 record, its first perfect campaign since winning the national championship in 1938. Patterson was named American Football Monthly’s 2010 Coach of the Year as he led TCU to its second straight BCS game. Other honors for Patterson included the Exchange Club of Fort Worth recognizing him as Fort Worth’s Outstanding Citizen for 2010, while the National Football Foundation’s Gridiron Club of Dallas selected him for its 2011 Distinguished Texan Award. Patterson also received the 2010 TCU Chancellor’s Staff Award for Outstanding Service.

Despite losing two starters in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft and a pair of four-year starters at cornerback, TCU topped the nation in total defense in 2010.

The 2009 campaign saw Patterson selected for nine national coaching honors after leading TCU to a 12-1 record, No. 6 ranking and Fiesta Bowl appearance. The No. 6 spot in the polls in 2009 was TCU’s highest season-ending ranking since 1955, when it was also sixth. The Horned Frogs had their first undefeated regular season since their 1938 national championship campaign. Despite losing seven starters to graduation, including three to the NFL, off 2008’s No. 1 defense, the Horned Frogs led the nation in 2009 by allowing just 239.7 yards per game. TCU and Florida were the only schools in 2009 to rank in the top 10 nationally in total offense and defense.

Patterson was named National Coach of the Year by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association and Sporting News while also receiving the Bobby Dodd Award, Eddie Robinson Award, Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, George Munger Award and Woody Hayes Award.

Patterson guided TCU to an 11-2 record and a No. 7 ranking in the final 2008 AP and USA Today polls. It was the Horned Frogs’ highest season-ending appearance in the polls since 1959. Included in the win total were victories over then-undefeated, top-10 teams BYU and Boise State. It was the first time since 1961 that TCU beat two top-10 opponents in the same season. TCU led the nation in total defense (217.8 yards per game) in 2008 for the third time in nine seasons.

An 11-2 record in 2006 included wins over Big 12 opponents Baylor and Texas Tech as well as a 37-7 victory over Northern Illinois in the Poinsettia Bowl. The Horned Frogs’ defense ranked second nationally in run defense (60.8 yards per game) and total defense (234.9 yards per game) while placing third in scoring defense (12.3 points per game). 

In 2005, Patterson earned Mountain West Coach of the Year honors as he led the Horned Frogs to the conference championship in their first season of league play. It was also TCU’s first outright conference championship since 1958. The Horned Frogs posted an 11-1 record for just the fourth 11-win season in school history and the second in three years. TCU also recorded its first undefeated league mark (8-0) dating back to 1938. The Horned Frogs opened and closed the 2005 season with victories over Big 12 teams. Following a 27-24 Houston Bowl win over Iowa State, Patterson saw TCU climb to ninth in the USA Today poll and 11th in the Associated Press poll. It was TCU’s highest season-ending ranking since 1959. TCU, picked to finish sixth in 2005 preseason MW polls, opened the campaign with a 17-10 victory at No. 5 Oklahoma. It was TCU’s first win against an opponent ranked that high since a 6-0 victory over No. 1 Texas in 1961.

Patterson’s success in 2005 was achieved while playing a total of 21 redshirt or true freshmen, tying for fourth nationally in that category. The 2005 Horned Frog defense led the nation in turnover margin (+21), interceptions (26) and takeaways (40). The offense set a single-season school record with 50 touchdowns while its 398 points scored ranked second all-time at TCU.

Patterson’s 10-2 record and conference championship in the 2002 season earned him Conference USA Coach of the Year accolades. The Horned Frogs finished the season ranked 22nd in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll and 23rd in the Associated Press poll. In 2003, TCU climbed as high as sixth in the BCS rankings - the highest ranking at that time for a school from a non-automatic qualifying conference. The Horned Frogs finished the season 11-2 and ranked in the top 25 for the second year in a row - the first time that had happened at TCU since the 1950s. His leadership of the 2003 squad made him a finalist for both the Eddie Robinson and Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year honors.

In his first full season as head coach with the Horned Frogs in 2001, Patterson was 1 of only 8 coaches with no previous Division I head coaching experience to lead their teams to bowl appearances. He proceeded to take the Horned Frogs to a bowl in each of his first three years.

Patterson amassed 18 years as an assistant coach, including three with the Horned Frogs, before taking the torch from Dennis Franchione prior to the 2000 GMAC Mobile Alabama Bowl.

In 1998, Patterson’s first season at TCU, the Horned Frogs scored a school-record six defensive touchdowns and allowed only 19.6 points per game - the fewest points per game in over 30 years. It was accomplished by a team that was 1-10 the previous season.

In 2000, the Horned Frogs allowed only 245.0 total yards and 9.6 points per game, ranking first in the nation in both categories. He was a finalist for the Frank Broyles National Assistant Coach of the Year award.

Prior to his arrival in Fort Worth, Patterson spent two seasons (1996-97) as the defensive coordinator and safeties coach at New Mexico.

Patterson’s defensive acumen dates back to his own playing days at Kansas State, where he played strong safety and outside linebacker for the Wildcats in 1980 and 1981. He served as a student assistant in 1982 and received his bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1983. He took the linebacker coaching position at Tennessee Tech while earning a master’s degree in educational administration in 1984.

Patterson has been part of 21 bowl staffs, including one each with Kansas State, Utah State and New Mexico. The other 18 have come at TCU. 

A native of Rozel, Kansas, Patterson is married to the former Kelsey Hayes. He has three sons: Josh, Cade and Blake.

Coaching Experience:
1982 Kansas State (Graduate Assistant)
1983-84 Tennessee Tech (Linebackers)
1986 UC Davis (Linebackers)
1987 Cal Lutheran (Defensive Coordinator)
1988 Pittsburg (Kan.) State (Linebackers)
1989-91 Sonoma (Calif.) State (Defensive Coordinator)
1992 Oregon Lightning Bolts
1992-94 Utah State (Secondary)
1995 Navy (Secondary)
1996-97 New Mexico (Defensive Coordinator/Safeties)
1998-00 TCU (Defensive Coordinator/Safeties)
2000-present TCU (Head Coach)

Bowl Games:
1982 Independence Bowl (Kansas State)
1993 Las Vegas Bowl (Utah State)
1997 Bowl (New Mexico)
1998 Sun Bowl (TCU)
1999 Mobile Alabama Bowl (TCU)
2000 Mobile Alabama Bowl (TCU)
2001 Bowl (TCU)
2002 Liberty Bowl (TCU)
2003 Fort Worth Bowl (TCU)
2005 Houston Bowl (TCU)
2006 Poinsettia Bowl (TCU)
2007 Texas Bowl (TCU)
2008 Poinsettia Bowl (TCU)
2010 Fiesta Bowl (TCU)
2011 Rose Bowl (TCU)
2011 Poinsettia Bowl (TCU)
2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (TCU)
2014 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (TCU)
2016 Valero Alamo Bowl (TCU)
2016 AutoZone Liberty Bowl (TCU)
2017 Valero Alamo Bowl (TCU)

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