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Sonny Dykes fills out his first TCU coaching staff, but he now must hold his breath

TCU coach Sonny Dykes has some concerns that members of his coaching staff might be plucked away by other programs (The Associated Press/LM Otero).

By Jeff Wilson
Frogs Today senior writer

FORT WORTH — The last significant opening on the staff of new football coach Sonny Dykes’ staff is open no more. Tulsa defensive coordinator Joseph Gillespie has been hired for the same post at TCU.

Much of Gillespie’s appeal stemmed from his formation, a 3-3-5 similar to what Iowa State employs to baffle Big 12 quarterbacks. He was also a longtime coach at Stephenville, working under Art Briles and later becoming head coach and leading the Yellow Jackets to a state title.

Gillespie will also coach linebackers.

Dykes has nine assistants in place and would appear to have his staff in place. However, he warned that Monday is typically a day in the coaching business when assistants are poached by other programs following the early signing period.

“I think we know where we’re going,” Dykes said. “Not everything’s official yet, but I think we have a pretty good idea of what direction it’s going. Now, that could change.After signing day, I would imagine there’ll be a lot of persistent coaching changes as part of the world we live in now. We have good staff. I would imagine somebody will try to hire them at some point.”

The decision to retain Doug Meacham, though as inside receivers coach rather than offensive coordinator, brought Dykes’ staff to nine. Also being retained from Gary Patterson’s staff are receivers coach Malcolm Kelly and safeties coach Paul Gonzales.

Offensive coordinator Garrett Riley was one of five coaches to follow Dykes from SMU. The others are offensive line coach/co-offensive coordinator A.J. Ricker, running backs coach Ra’shaad Samples, receivers coach David Gru and defensive line coach Chidera Uzo-Diribe.

Mark Tommerdahl left Texas Tech to become the special teams coach. He was part of Dennis Franchione’s staff at TCU from 1998-2000.

On the support side, Brian Carrington also joined with an emphasis on recruiting after formerly serving as the director of recruiting at Texas. He and Samples are considered recruiting gurus, along with Kelly.

Jeff Wilson, jeff@frogstoday.com

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