Mac Engel: Hiring Gary Patterson is a win for former TCU football coach and a loss for Texas assistant |

FORT WORTH, Texas – Shortly after seeing the viral photo of former TCU head football coach Gary Patterson wearing a Bevo logo on his long-sleeved white shirt during a basketball game in Texas, Kenny Cain summed up the sentiments on behalf of a lot of TCU people.

“Every former TCU defensive player will secretly support the UT defense,” Cain wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday.

Cain played for Patterson at TCU from 2009 to 2012.

Patterson’s view in burnt orange almost looked like a clever photoshopped product, but this scenario was inevitable.

Former TCU and current Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte arranged the marriage for both his current and former head coach.

Patterson joining Steve Sarkisian’s staff as “special coach whatever” has been in the works for over a month and is the perfect destination and role for the former TCU head coach.

Even if Texas keeps losing, Patterson can’t.

The loser in this scenario is current Texas defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski. He has two years left on his three-year, $1.7 million contract.

In his first season on Sarkisian’s team, Texas had one of the worst defenses in the nation as the Longhorns finished 5-7, which included a home loss to Kansas.

The only thing that kept Kwiatkowski on this team for another season is that contract.

If Texas makes any improvement in 2022, who will get the credit?

Kwiatkowski, or the brand new “Special Whatever Coach” whose strong point is defense?

It’s the type of work Patterson had already envisioned, long before his tenure with TCU ended in the middle of the 2021 season.

The job allows him to be involved in game planning and strategy, and does not include any of the responsibilities of a head coach.

If his time in Texas goes well, it just might help him land another head coaching job in Power 5 football. That’s if ultimately becoming a head coach again is on his to-do list. wishes.

He always thought that once his tenure at TCU was over, he would be happy to live on in college football as an analyst for a staff, or even potentially join a television network.

Patterson will be an asset to Texas, Sarkisian and Kwiatkowski. What Gary Patterson cannot be considered a savior. He’s not going to move a point spread, and he can’t be expected to turn a seven-game losing team into a 12-game winning team in a season.

When Texas host Alabama on Sept. 10 at DKR in Austin, no one associated with the University of Texas can expect Patterson to make a difference. UT is going to get slammed, and there’s nothing Patterson can do about it.

He will be an assistant assistant coach, whose contribution will be both welcome and appreciated, but there is not much he can do.

As evidenced by their six-game losing streak from Oct. 9 to Nov. 20 last year, the Longhorns have been a mess on offense, defense and special teams.

Texas ranked 100th in total defense in FBS last season, 99th in score defense, 114th against the run and 80th against the pass.

Patterson can be expected to fix those kinds of stats in a year as an assistant-assistant.

Texas is so bad, and the standard is now so ridiculously low in Austin, all the Longhorns have to do is improve and reach the mythical eight-win marker and the addition of Patterson will be seen as a successful purchase.

Both TCU fans and former players will feel conflicted seeing their former coach work for their rivals. When Texas hosts TCU in Austin on November 12, it will be awkward.

But Patterson is free to work for whoever wants to hire him, and the University of Texas makes sense for no less than six good reasons.

There’s only one loser in this scenario, and it’s not Gary Patterson.

It’s Texas defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski, who can’t win even if the Longhorns do.


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