clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Reports: Baylor Hiring Former TCU Head Coach Gary Patterson as Senior Level Strategic Consultant

The rumors appear to be true; SicEm365 is reporting that Dave Aranda is bringing Gary Patterson onto his staff in an off-field role.

TCU v Kansas State Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

The unthinkable appears to be happening—Baylor is reportedly bringing in former TCU Head Coach Gary Patterson to join its football staff in a consulting/analyst/off-field role. There has been no formal announcement to date, but the rumors on this have been swirling for a few days now, and SicEm365 is reporting that the hire is imminent. They had the news first.

Patterson, who was most recently at Texas in a defensive analyst position (probably pretty similar to what he’ll do here) is best known for his prior job at TCU, where he was the head coach for 22 seasons before being fired on Halloween in 2021. That was the same night that the world learned about Pole Assassin and her monkey.

I can only imagine that this news will be met with mixed reactions among the Baylor fanbase. Our history with Patterson here at ODB is ... checkered to say the least; he blocked us on Twitter for years before he took the Texas job and apparently cleared out that list. A quick search of our archives shows numerous posts about things he said, did, or accused others of doing during his time at TCU. To characterize Patterson as unpopular among those in green and gold would be an incredible understatement.

However, it’s essential to look beyond personal grudges and consider the potential benefits Patterson could bring to Baylor’s coaching staff and the football program as a whole. First, it is beyond doubt that Patterson is an incredible coach, particularly on defense. We saw it game after game, year after year, even when we had one of the best offenses in the history of college football. His track record speaks for itself, and his wealth of knowledge and strategic insights will undoubtedly serve as valuable assets to Baylor’s coaching staff, particularly as Dave Aranda and company try to bounce back from an unacceptable 3-9 season.

Moreover, Patterson’s likely role as a defensive analyst (with some possible offensive input, I imagine) signifies a commitment to enhancing Baylor’s staff as a whole. This is the same kind of hire that Alabama is celebrated for making and represents additional investment in the program from the Powers That Be. In a sport as competitive as college football, having someone of Patterson’s caliber providing input and guidance could be instrumental in refining defensive strategies, self-scouting (something that I think has been a serious weakness the last couple of years), and analyzing opponent tendencies. This isn’t about personal vendettas; it’s about leveraging proven expertise to help Dave Aranda rebuild Baylor Football.

We all realize where this program is today. In keeping Dave Aranda after the last two seasons, Baylor has bet big on him being the man to turn things around, essentially blaming poor performance on a disastrous NIL approach that negatively impacted talent acquisition and retention, an offensive system that wasn’t getting the job done and did not match the general progression of college football, and Aranda’s own lack of involvement on the defensive side (which still mystifies me). Hiring a former head coach (Spavital) to run the offense addresses both of the last two points, bringing a more up-tempo style back to Baylor while also freeing Aranda up to be more hands-on on defense. Hiring someone like Patterson to help on both sides (but probably primarily on defense) is a logical next step given his tremendous experience and track record. If you want Dave Aranda to be successful here, you need to give him every tool you can to make that happen.

Finally, it’s essential to recognize that people are not defined solely by their past actions or mistakes. While there may be lingering tensions or grievances towards Patterson, it’s important to approach this new chapter with an open mind and a willingness to see what could be rather than what has been. We all want Baylor Football to be successful. If Patterson can help make that happen, I don’t really care that there is a statue of him in Fort Worth or that his closet is almost certainly still packed with purple. Having Patterson on staff here and Kendal Briles at TCU may take some getting used to, but let’s get to work and see what happens.

UPDATE: Bruce Feldman is now also reporting the move as imminent.