Coach Gary Patterson out at TCU after 20 years, as Horned Frogs continue to struggle in Big 12

Gary Patterson, who has been the Horned Frogs' coach for 20 years, is now leaving TCU. The school announced this on Sunday night.
School officials met with Patterson Sunday to ask him to end the current season. Patterson, who was the Horned Frogs' coach in Saturday's 31-12 loss to Kansas State, has been replaced by Jerry Kill, an assistant, on an interim basis. This is for a team which is currently 3-5 overall, and 1-4 in Big 12.

"The remarkable story of Gary Patterson, and the rise of TCU's football program over the past 20 years, is undoubtedly one of the greatest in college football history. In a statement, Jeremiah Donati, athletic director, said that TCU is grateful to Gary Patterson and Kelsey Patterson. Under his leadership, TCU has been a nationally-recognized brand in both football and collegiate athletics.

TCU has lost three consecutive games, all in conference, and Saturday's defeat to the Wildcats was their third. Patterson's final decision was a microcosm for the problems that have plagued this proud program. The Horned Frogs are unable to get off the field on defense, and they can't generate enough offense in a conference with a heavy emphasis on points.

Skylar Thompson threw for 242 yard and a touchdown, while also running for score. Deuce Vaughn added another 109 yards and two touchdowns to the ground as Kansas State won 31-12.

Max Duggan, Horned Frogs' quarterback, was only 9 of 13 for just 73 yards before being benched in quarter three. Chandler Morris was 9 out of 14 for 111 yards relief. Kendre Miller ran for 101 yards, though most of that was on a 61 yard scamper.

TCU's frustrations grew in the loss and didn't help Patterson's situation. Midway through the third quarter, tempers flared when Josh Foster of the Horned Frogs hit Thompson hard for stepping out of bounds. TCU coaches attempted to intervene but were unsuccessful. Two of the TCU players and one from Kansas State were both thrown punches.

The frustration of the Horned Frogs probably stemmed out of the fact that they drove within the Kansas State 5 three times -- one in each half and one in each second -- and only managed to score three points.

It seems a far cry from previous seasons when the Horned Frogs competed for conference championships and hoped to make major bowl appearances. Only Kansas is currently below TCU in conference standings, having been a non-winner in the Big 12.

Patterson was Dennis Franchione's defensive coach at TCU in 1998. He became the head coach in 2001. Patterson was 181-79 at TCU. He oversaw the Horned Frogs’ rise from being left behind following the split of the Southwest Conference to Conference USA, Mountain West, and back into Big 12, largely because of Patterson's success.

The 2010 Horned Frogs from the Mountain West made history by becoming the first non-automatic qualifying team to play in Rose Bowl during the BCS Era. They finished the season 13-0 and beat No. 5 Wisconsin. Patterson was also praised in Fort Worth for his dominance in Texas. He went 7-3 against Longhorns since 2012.

Patterson was second in FBS's list of longest tenured head coaches, behind only Kirk Ferentz from Iowa, who took over in 1999.

Patterson's history at TCU was not a good one. He has come under fire for his actions in recent years. Since 2017, when the Horned Frogs went 11-2, they haven't been ranked in AP polls since 2017. They were 21-22 in the AP poll's last four seasons. After seven consecutive wins against the Mustangs, he had lost two straight games to SMU.

Patterson's accusation that a Mustangs player hit Kill with a helmet during their rivalry match was a big news story, despite video evidence to support the contrary.

Patterson was awarded every national coach of year award in 2009, 2014, and was recognized at the conference level by Conference USA 2002, Mountain West 2005, 2009, and Big 12 2014.

Patterson led TCU to 17 bowl appearances under his leadership -- the school had been to 17 games in total between 1896-1896, his first season as head coaching -- and he was 11-6 in those bowls. Six times, TCU was in the top 10, including a No. TCU finished No. 2 in 2010 and No. 2nd in 2010 and No.

Donati wrote, "[We] mutually agreed the time has come to a new voice & leadership in our football programme."

This report was contributed by The Associated Press.