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Big Country, Texas Tech coaching legend Dykes dies at 79

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ABILENE, TX - He left a trail of memories and smiles all across West Texas.

Monday, long-time coach, Texas Sports Hall of Famer, and former Big Country resident Spike Dykes passed away at the age of 79 from a suspected heart attack.

Dykes grew up in Ballinger, where he later coached. His many coaching stops included times with Coahoma, Eastland, Belton, Alice, and San Angelo Central to name a few.

He then began his college coaching career under the legendary Darrel Royal at Texas, before making his own mark in the Lone Star State.

Dykes would return to West Texas, taking over Midland Lee. There, he led the Rebels to a state championship game berth in 1983, with star players Isaac Garnett, Tyrone Thurman, Eddie Kittle and Michael Johnson who joined him at Tech.

That's where the Dykes name truly became a household one. He began as an assistant at Texas Tech, before being promoted to Head Coach after David McWilliams' departure just before the Independence Bowl in 1986. After that, he recorded a school record 82 wins, finishing his tenure 82-67-1.

While being Texas Tech's leading man from until 1999, Dykes flourished with the Red Raiders and the community - leading the program to seven bowl game trips and three Coach of the Year nods, the last in the programs first year as a member of the Big 12. All of that in 14 years.

He leaves behind two sons - Sonny, an offensive analyst at TCU, and Rick Dykes who previously was an offensive coordinator at Texas Tech under his father, before taking the position at Arizona.

Services for Dykes are planned for 2 p.m. Thursday at First United Methodist Church in Lubbock and at 2 p.m. Friday in Horseshoe Bay.

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