Spike Dykes led Texas Tech to nearly unprecedented heights as head coach for 13 years. He lead the Red Raiders to their only SWC title and Cotton Bowl birth and turned the also ran into a consistent contender. He did it all with a West Texas charm and whit that was unmatched.
Dykes was born in Lubbock but raised in Ballinger where he graduated 1955. After graduation Dykes headed off to Stephen F. Austin where he played center for the Lumberjacks. After his eligibility ran out Dykes went into coaching with stops at Eastland, Ballinger, San Angelo Central, Coahoma, Belton, and Alice. He went to the college ranks in 1972, joining Darrell Royal's staff at Texas. After a brief return to the high school ranks at Midland Lee, Dykes would head to Lubbock at Defensive Coordinator in 1984.
When David McWilliams left Lubbock for Austin, Dykes moved into the interim role and was named head coach for the 1986 season. He went 82-67-1. He retired as the winningest coach in Texas Tech history. He led Tech to its only Cotton Bowl birth in 1994 and finished second in the league on five occasions. When the Red Raiders jumped to the Big 12 they didn't skip a beat, finishing 2nd in three of his four seasons in the Big 12 South.
On a personal note, I went out to Tech on a recruiting trip my senior year. Though I was lightly regarded and undersized, nonetheless Spike introduced himself to me and could not have been more friendly and personable. Prayers go out to coach Dyke's family and friends. He will forever be remembered as a giant in the State of Texas.