Breaking News
More () »

'Unbelievable:' Kate Dykes, wife of TCU head coach, talks undefeated regular season, Hypnotoad, College Football Playoff

“My son, on his letter to Santa, it just says, ‘Win Natty.’ I'm like, come on, Santa, it's not that hard: Make it happen! Call the North Pole!” Kate Dykes said.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Ask Kate Dykes to describe, in one word, how this TCU football season has gone, and the answer isn’t easy.

“I mean, I don’t even know: Unbelievable,” Dykes said. “I mean, every day you wake up and you're just like, is this real? Are we really getting to do this?”

Dykes is the wife of TCU head football coach, Sonny Dykes.

In his first season in Fort Worth, Sonny Dykes led the Horned Frogs to an undefeated regular season.

Despite a heartbreaking overtime loss in the Big 12 Championship, TCU held on to its No. 3 ranking and were selected for the College Football Playoff.

The Horned Frogs take on No. 2 Michigan in the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 31.

“In football life, we always say, if you have nothing to do in December, it's not a good thing,” Dykes said. “So, it’s a good crazy.”

Kate and Sonny first crossed paths at Texas Tech. After almost 17 years married, three kids and six moves – all related to Sonny’s coaching jobs in Arizona, Louisiana, California, Fort Worth and Dallas -- the family is happy to be in Cowtown. 

“We're very thankful to just be able to be here,” she said. “Hopefully for a while.” 

The Dykes’ most recent move was a short one: Just 35 miles west on Interstate 30. Sonny took the job at TCU in Fort Worth after coaching four seasons at SMU in Dallas. 

“In a weird way, because we were so close, it almost made it harder a little bit because you knew you could get back to Dallas for (the kids) to see their friends, where if we move far away, it's out of the question,” Kate Dykes said.

But making Fort Worth “home” has been a breeze.

“Fort Worth has been so special because we had lifelong friends that were not associated with football that lived here already, and that is really special,” Kate Dykes said. “Everyone is so welcoming and the whole town really rallies around TCU and TCU athletics.”

The Horned Frogs have given all of North Texas something to cheer for: They are the first team from Texas to reach the College Football Playoff.

Oh, yeah: There was the undefeated regular season, too.

Did Kate Dykes see all that coming?!

“I don't know that I would have said every game, but you could feel the shift happening where you were like, this is going to be special,” she said.

And Kate’s not afraid to give credit where credit’s due: That includes embracing the power of the Hypnotoad.

“I mean, it's the weirdest thing, but I love it,” Kate Dykes said. “But it does work. Like in games, when the Hypnotoad comes out on the screen, everyone goes wild. So you're like, I don't know, play it the whole game!”

After losing the Big 12 Championship, the team had to sweat it out at a watch party at the beginning of December, praying the selection committee would choose them for the College Football Playoff.

“I remember looking at Sonny right before and our oldest daughter was like, do you think Dad’s about to pass out? I'm like, no, he looks good,” Kate Dykes said. “But I just think it was like this nervous energy that you thought, please let it happen.”

And when the Dykes’ family saw the name ‘TCU’ flash on the TV screen during the ESPN broadcast at the watch party?

“I jumped so high. I was in my church clothes, and I don't even remember jumping that high. I guess I'm lucky I didn't sprain my ankle in high heels, but I just exploded off the chair. I was so excited for those kids because they were so excited,” Kate Dykes said.

The Horned Frogs have enjoyed incredible success this season, including Sonny winning seven major "Coach of the Year" awards.

“He's not a micromanager. He's not that way as a parent. I don't think he's that way at his office. He just hires people that he believes he has faith in, that they're going to do their job and he's ever present and everything. But he's not a micromanager,” Kate said of her husband’s coaching style. 

“It's not uptight. That's not his personality. He would prefer to be in a hoodie and tennis shoes over anything else every day. So I just feel like kind of who he is, that's also how he coaches.”

All of the successes and wins this season have been ‘unbelievable,’ Kate Dykes told WFAA. But they have also served as a reminder of how grateful the Dykes’ family is for their journey.

“We were 9-3 our last year at Louisiana Tech and in our first year at Cal, we were 1-11. And to go from the high to the low, you second guess yourself. You think, are we doing this correct? Should we make changes? Even as a coach's wife, you think, am I not intentional enough with these wives who are giving their time and working really hard to help the team and their husbands?” Kate Dykes said. 

“I think it's been good for our kids to see, too, that it's not always easy and you have to keep working hard. Life’s going to have challenges. Can't give up. You might get sidetracked a little bit, but you have to get right back up and keep working, so it’s been a real blessing.” 

The season isn’t over yet: Next up is Saturday’s game against Michigan. A win in that game will earn TCU a bid in the FBS college football national championship game on Monday, Jan, 9, 2023. 

“My son, on his letter to Santa, it just says, ‘Win Natty.’ I'm like, come on, Santa, it's not that hard. Make it happen! Call the North Pole!” Kate said smiling.

Dykes' contract at TCU, just a year into its run, has already been extended through 2028.

“I really love being a coach’s wife, and I'm not perfect. But I do try really hard to be a good mom,” she said. “I'm really proud of Sonny for how he leads our family and leads the football program.”

Before You Leave, Check This Out