Opinion: Patterson has no reason to leave TCU

Opinion: Patterson has no reason to leave TCU

A recent rumor in the college football world is that TCU head coach Gary Patterson is the “leading candidate” for the Arkansas head coaching position.

This stems from the Razorbacks’ 4-6 record in 2012 after an embarrassing scandal leading to the firing of former head coach Bobby Petrino in April. The lack of success this season in Fayetteville will likely yield yet another changing of the guards at the head coaching position.

The story of Patterson’s move is only a rumor. But for those up in arms about the possibility of losing Coach P, worry not.

Patterson has no reason to leave Fort Worth.

He has been the Horned Frogs’ head coach since the last game of the 2000 season, and has invested his life in the program. After 12 years with Gary at the helm, TCU has climbed the conference rankings – made a dream become reality – in earning a spot in the Big 12.

Those 12 years have led to the construction of an empire. Patterson now has a $164 million dollar kingdom dressed to the nines with borderline-gaudy features.

He’s gone from a 6-6 team with a Galleryfurniture.com Bowl appearance to a Rose Bowl champion.

He’s gone from the WAC to the Big 12. He’s gone from Gary to “GMFP.”

In addition to the team’s ascension into the national spotlight, Gary is settled in for the long haul in Fort Worth. He has a lucrative contract through the 2018 season that will put $3 million in the bank each year.

If all of the off-the-field perks don’t make you confident Patterson will stick around, his outlook on finishing this season might. After a 23-10 loss to now top-ranked Kansas State, Patterson said his goal is to reach a new level with this team next season.

“Our bowl game practices and our spring practices will be evaluated so we can go against teams like that and not at any point get pushed around,” he said. “We’re beat up enough now that I can’t do that for about three weeks, but after that [my players] should be ready. Because we’re moving forward.”

These aren’t comments that come from a man who is planning on leaving after this season.

Despite a “down year” in comparison to recent success for the Frogs, Gary has a lot to look forward to with this team.

“I’m excited about what our future is and what we’re doing,” he said.

While a 6-4 record and zero home wins in conference play aren’t highlights of his career, it’s no reason for him to get out of town.

With 70 percent of players seeing the field this season being freshmen or sophomores, Patterson can build this team like he’s building his house overlooking the stadium – with his future in Fort Worth in mind.

Nothing suggests Patterson would leave for any particular offer at this point in his career, including Arkansas. The Razorbacks, after all, are 4-6 and firmly at the bottom of the Southeastern Conference in a year in which expectations were high.

Patterson has virtually no ties to Arkansas, and everything invested in Horned Frog Nation.

Caesar wouldn’t have left Rome. Gary won’t leave Fort Worth. TCU fans can continue to trust in Gary.

“I’m a Horned Frog,” Patterson said. “This is my family right here.”