Spike Dykes, revered former coach at Texas Tech, dead at 79

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Spike Dykes, the folksy West Texas native who led Texas Tech to its only Cotton Bowl when that game was reserved for the Southwest Conference champion, has died. He was 79.

School spokesman Matt Dowdy said Dykes died Monday in Horseshoe Bay, Texas, near Austin. There was no immediate word on a cause of death.

Dykes gave Texas Tech coaching stability after the Red Raiders had been spurned by David McWilliams, who left Texas as an assistant to become Tech’s head coach in 1986 only to return to Austin a year later when Fred Akers was fired.

Texas Tech promoted Dykes, who had joined the staff in 1984, and he retired as the school’s winningest coach with a record of 82-67-1 over 13 seasons, plus an Independence Bowl loss after McWilliams’ departure. Mike Leach broke Dykes’ mark with 84 wins from 2000-09.

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