The star behind the stripes

By Olivia Wales

A sea of purple floods into Amon G. Carter stadium, creating a heartbeat that pulses louder and louder with each passing minute under the blaze of the Texas sun.

Of course, he’s there. He’s the first student at every TCU game, and the last to leave. Three purple “TCU” letters are likely painted on the back of his head.

His vibrant purple and white striped overalls are a magnet for every eye, as he signals the next move for the purple sea of Horned Frog faithful.

He is Patton Maynard, a fourth-generation Horned Frog and Fort Worth native who was born throwing up the “Go Frogs” hand sign.

“He has the most school spirit of anyone I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Canali Miller, a fellow Dutchmen and senior musical theatre major. “He takes charge.”

Patton Maynard leads the TCU student section at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Photo courtesy of Patton Maynard.

A change in spirit

Growing up, Maynard, a senior political science and musical theatre double major, remembers a lack of spirit in the TCU student section. He arrived on campus determined to change that.

Maynard formed a group called the Dutchmen, a spirit organization he named for former head coach Dutch Meyer, who led TCU football to two national championships in 1935 and 1938.

He is now the head Dutchman and pushes to make the Dutchmen an official part of TCU athletics, like the cheerleaders and Rangers.

The Dutchmen are at every TCU basketball and football game in the front row wearing purple and white striped overalls, leading the chants and preserving traditions while creating new ones, such as the Riff Ram chant.

Maynard emphasizes that the Dutchmen are not student section leaders, but a student culture.

“It’s the culture of TCU, it’s the history of TCU, it’s the camaraderie of TCU,” Maynard said. “Our point is to help create and encourage camaraderie.”

‘A bald kid with a big smile’

While Maynard has always loved the Horned Frogs, he hasn’t always been so extroverted.

Throughout elementary school, Maynard was shy with a lisp. Sometimes people questioned if he was mute.

“My sister used to talk for me because of my severe lisp,” Maynard said. “I would give her a look and she knew exactly what I wanted to say, so she would just say it for me.”

The two of them were “inseparable,” Maynard said.

When he was in elementary school, he was diagnosed with alopecia. The autoimmune disease, which affects nearly 7 million Americans, causes hair loss on the scalp and face.

“I don’t know where I would be today without this illness,” Maynard said.

Maynard said he became extroverted and gained self-confidence when he shaved his head in seventh grade.

I realized that this isn’t something I just like to do, this is who I am.

— Patton Maynard

Patton Maynard cheers on the Horned Frogs at a football game. Photo courtesy of Patton Maynard.
. Photo courtesy of Patton Maynard.

John Walker, senior political science major and a childhood friend of Maynard’s, said when he met Maynard, he saw a “bald kid with a big smile.”

“At the end of our first conversation, he said, ‘By the way, I don’t have cancer,’” Walker said.

The two went on to be close high school friends at Lake Country Christian High School and college friends at TCU.

“Alopecia hasn’t stopped him at all,” Walker said. “Nothing can phase him after that.”

‘This is who I am’

As a child, Maynard watched his sister, Megan Maynard, perform in dance recitals at Ed Landreth Hall. Today, she is a dancer at Disney World and Maynard is performing in his own shows at Ed Landreth.

Maynard in a play. Photo courtesy of Patton Maynard.

His love of theatre was sparked at summer camp. Then, in fourth grade, his teacher encouraged him to try out for a musical – he earned the lead.

After that musical, and throughout his time in high school, Maynard continued earning big leads in shows such as “State Fair” and “Beauty and the Beast”.

His last high school show, “Titanic”, moved him to audition for TCU’s musical theatre program just days before the deadline.

At TCU, Maynard has performed in “The Real Inspector Hound.”

“He is a very animated human being,” Miller said. “Also, he’s always on the move, always doing something for someone.”

Nothing halfway

“If I am asked to do something, I don’t do it halfway- no matter what it is,” Maynard said. “If you’re in a play and you have one line, don’t go out there and just throw that one line away. It’s important, it’s in there for a reason.”

From working as a Frog Camp facilitator to serving as the student outreach chair for Student Government Association and becoming a member of Phi Kappa Sigma, Maynard values commitment to his passions.

As an incoming first-year student, Frog Camp Alpine was a catalyst for Maynard’s leadership at TCU.

“He was super confident and outgoing at Frog Camp,” said Audrey Spiller, senior nursing major. “He was a natural leader.”

Maynard later facilitated Frog Camps Cultura, Summit and Alpine, where he has encouraged numerous first-year students.

“He can be high energy but he can also be super intentional and can have a one-on-one conversation with anyone,” Miller said.

Margaret Koopman, senior movement science major, facilitated Frog Camp Cultura with Maynard during summer 2018.

“Patton’s outgoing, amiable nature drew people in, both frog campers and facilitators,” Koopman said. “He truly cared about every individual there, and was always doing something to help someone else.”

However, as Maynard enters his senior year, his legacy lies in the organization he brought to life: the Dutchmen.

“Nothing would make me happier than coming back to campus in 50 years and seeing the Dutchmen, in their purple and white overalls, doing the exact same thing,” Maynard said.