• Mr. Speaker, for years, Texas college football has been dominated by Texas and Texas A&M, both of which are large public universities. So how have a couple of small, private, Christian institutions like Baylor and TCU dethroned the kings of Texas football and become the top two programs in the state? It's simple really--their success has been built on good coaching. While the Longhorns and Aggies consistently bring in top ranked recruiting classes, Baylor and TCU typically bring in much less heralded players, yet have had more success. This means that these two programs have coaches who can turn what most consider to be ``lesser'' talent into better football players.
  • They each hired relative unknowns to guide their programs. Baylor put its faith in Art Briles while TCU put its in Gary Patterson. Both Briles and Patterson come from similarly humble backgrounds and have developed strong work ethics and good attitudes.
  • Briles hails from a small town in West Texas called Rule, where his father was the head football coach at the local high school. Briles played for his father and went on to become an all-state quarterback, earning a scholarship to the University of Houston where he played wide receiver for legendary Coach Bill Yeoman. On their way to watch Art play in the 1977 Cotton Bowl, his parents and aunt died in a tragic car crash. Though Coach Yeoman knew about this before the game started, he didn't tell Art until after the game was over. Briles went on to transfer to Texas Tech so that he could be closer to his girlfriend who was a student there at the time. They are now happily married. Prior to his coaching career, Briles earned his master's in education from Abilene Christian University, my alma mater. He would go on to become one of the most successful high school coaches in Texas history, winning four state titles at Stephenville. After coaching at Stephenville, Briles moved on to Texas Tech as an assistant and to Houston as its head coach. Then, in 2008, after a remarkable turnaround at Houston, he was hired by Baylor in hopes that he could do the same for their program. Flash forward to 2015, and Briles has just finished coaching the team to its second straight Big XII conference title, which seemed virtually unimaginable before he arrived.
  • TCU's Coach Gary Patterson also comes from humble roots. He grew up in a small town in Kansas called Rozel and played football at Dodge City Community College before transferring to Kansas State. After graduating from Kansas State, Patterson became a grad assistant there before moving up the ranks at several small schools around the country. In 1998 he was hired as TCU's defensive coordinator and would be named the head coach just two years later.
  • Briles and Patterson have each enjoyed huge amounts of success, but got there through different means. Patterson is known as a defensive mastermind and is one of the only coaches in history to win the national Coach of the Year award more than once. Briles, oppositely, is an offensive tactician and has engineered one of the greatest program turnarounds in recent memory. Both Baylor and TCU were low level football programs when Briles and Patterson arrived. Baylor was considered one of the worst football programs in the country, regularly winning only one or two games per season. TCU had just been left out of the Big 12 and were now members of the Western Athletic Conference, which isn't even a football conference anymore. Now, both are considered two of the top coaches in America and have brought back respect to these once forgotten programs.
  • And that's just the way it is.