SMU introduced former California and Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes as the Mustangs' new football Tuesday, replacing one Texan with a reputation for directing potent offenses for another.
Dykes replaces Chad Morris, who left SMU last week to become Arkansas' coach.
Dykes, whose father Spike Dykes was a longtime coach at Texas Tech, went 22-15 in three seasons at Louisiana Tech from 2010-12. He spent four years at Cal, where he had just one winning season. He was fired after the 2016 season and spent 2017 working as an offensive analyst at TCU.
SMU has been on the rise under Morris, who took over the program when it was coming off a 1-11 season. The Mustangs went 7-5 this year to reach the postseason for the first time since 2012. Morris, another Texas native and former offensive coordinator at Clemson, re-established the Dallas-based school's in-state recruiting ties and brought an exciting style of offense to SMU.
Dykes fits a similar profile. The 48-year-old was born in Big Spring, Texas, and is a disciple of former Kentucky coach Hal Mumme and Washington State coach Mike Leach. Dykes' version of the "Air Raid" offense has consistently produced some of the most productive attacks in the nation. At Cal, he coached Jared Goff for three seasons before the quarterback became the first overall pick in the NFL draft.
"This is home and this is a program I grew up watching. I watched Mustang legends compete and I could always see myself putting on that iconic pony. Today, I'm proud to do just that," Dykes said in a statement. "Coach Morris did great things here and I am fortunate that I have been selected to take the foundation Chad and his staff put in place and take it to a new level. And, make no mistake -- that is what we plan to do."
Jeff Traylor, SMU associate head coach and current interim head coach, was also considered for the permanent position and will be on the sidelines when the Mustangs face Louisiana Tech in the DXL Frisco Bowl on Dec. 20.