Football

The Spike Dykes Memorial Service

The Spike Dykes Memorial Service was held on Thursday afternoon. Just a terrific celebration of life of Spike Dykes.

Speaking at this celebration of Dykes’ life was former player and current San Diego Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn, former Texas head coach mack Brown and coaching friend, Doyle Parker. Everyone was great and if you at all think that Mack Brown wasn’t terrific, you would be wrong. He wore red and black for his friend and he was really, funny and reverent about his friend.

Lynn’s speech was powerful and I loved everything that Lynn had to say about his coach and his friend. Lynn’s words caused me to tear up and I’m not at all ashamed to admit that. They were moving words. David Collier posted a handful of the best parts on his twitter feed and I’ll share a few here.

And these words from Lynn are moving.

And I don’t want to forget about LAJ’s Don Williams, who wrote a novel’s worth of word’s on the Texas Tech great on Sunday.

  • Williams: With a charm like no other, Dykes restored stability of Tech football:

    One weekday afternoon, a stranger materialized in the east bleachers of Jones Stadium. Spike, sizing him up from the west sideline, told longtime assistant Doyle Parker to go over and “just kinda ooze around up there” — you don’t forget a phrase like “ooze around” even years later — to assess the guy’s motive.

    Ten minutes later, Doyle ambled along the east-side walkway, casually slung a forearm down onto the railing, then leaned over and small-talked the fellow.

    Ya never know, the Longhorns or Aggies could’ve had eyes in the stands. Spike kept an antenna up for that sort of thing, trust me.

    Memory fails me as to the outcome of that scene, which means the unfamiliar face probably belonged to just a regular ol’ Red Raiders fan, in which case Spike didn’t want to run anybody off. Who made more friends one or two at a time than he did?

  • Spike Dykes’ coaching connections built him as a coach, mentor:

    In a coaching career that stretched from 1959 through 1999, Spike Dykes assembled an assortment of coaching friends that ranged from loyal assistants to rivals who shared a mutual respect. Here’s how, when and where some of those bonds were formed.

  • The legend of Spike Dykes: As told by those who knew him best:

    Mack Brown, Texas coach, 1998-2013

    He coached two games head to head against Dykes, then got to know him well the 17 years Dykes lived near Austin in retirement.

    “Number one, he was one of my best friends. He was just like coach (Darrell) Royal and Mr. Joe Jamail. He’d become a guy that was just like an older brother.

    “And smart. You go back and study what he did in football, I never thought he got the credit for being the innovator that he was. They ran so many plays so quickly and would huddle close to the line of scrimmage and sprint up and get down (into stances) right quick. He was doing things like that before anybody even talked about tempo offenses.”

  • There was never a dull moment on the Spike Dykes trail:

    In 1990, fresh off one of his most memorable seasons as Texas Tech coach, Spike Dykes achieved a sports-minded Texan’s dream: Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine put him front and center.

    Arms folded over his chest, his head tilted back for a belly laugh, Dykes had the cover to himself.

    Writer Brad Buchholz framed a five-page story around riding shotgun with Spike as the coach drove from one little South Plains town to the next. Then and to the end, ride-alongs with Dykes made for a whole ‘nother facet of his unique persona.

  • Spike Dykes: A career full of highlights:

    Well-rounded Raiders

    Under the tutelage of offensive coordinator Dick Winder, the Red Raiders regularly roll out balanced offenses. In addition to the strong running games, Tech develops other skill-position standouts. Billy Joe Tolliver, Jamie Gill, Robert Hall and Zebbie Lethridge make their marks at quarterback.

    Tech fans also get used to having productive receivers. On the front end of the Dykes’ regime are the Smurfs — Eddy Anderson, Tyrone Thurman and Wayne Walker — little guys who spark excitement. Then comes Rodney Blackshear and a decorated pair: Lloyd Hill and Derrell Mitchell, the former a second-team All-American, the latter a long-time pro just inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame.

I started to think about people with Texas Tech who are universally loved at Texas Tech and I think it would be Spike Dykes and Marsha Sharp. Rest in peace Spike Dykes.

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