Hiring Gary Patterson a win for ex-TCU football coach and a loss for Texas assistant

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Brian Davis Twitter, Austin American Statesman/Brian Davis
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Not long after seeing the viral photo of former TCU head football coach Gary Patterson wearing a Bevo logo on his white, long sleeve shirt at a Texas basketball game, Kenny Cain summed up the feelings on behalf of a lot of TCU people.

“Every TCU former defensive player will secretly be rooting for UT defense,” Cain wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday.

Cain played for Patterson at TCU from 2009 to 2012.

The sight of Patterson in burnt orange sent almost looked like a product of clever Photoshopping, but this scenario was inevitable.

Former TCU and current Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte help arrange this marriage, as much for his current head coach as his old one.

Patterson joining Steve Sarkisian’s staff as a “Special Whatever Coach” has been in the works for more than a month, and is the perfect destination and role for TCU’s former head coach.

Even if Texas keeps losing, Patterson can’t.

The loser in this scenario is current Texas defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski. He has two years remaining on his three-year, $1.7 million contract.

In his first season on Sarkisian’s staff, Texas had one of the worst defenses in the nation as the Longhorns finished 5-7, which included a home loss to Kansas.

The only thing that kept Kwiatkowski on that staff for another season is that contract.

If Texas makes any type of improvement in 2022, who is going to receive the credit?

Kwiatkowski, or the brand new “Special Whatever Coach” whose forte is defense?

This is the type of job Patterson had previously pondered, long before his tenure with TCU ended in the middle of the 2021 season.

The job allows him to be involved with game planning, and strategy, and includes none of the responsibility of a head coach.

If his time at Texas goes well, it may just serve to help him land another head coaching job in Power 5 football. That is if, ultimately, being a head coach again is on his wish list.

He always thought that once his tenure at TCU ended he would be happy to live on in college football as an analyst for a staff, or even potentially joining a TV network.

Gary Patterson will be an asset to Texas, and Sarkisian, and Kwiatkowski. What Gary Patterson cannot be viewed as is a savior. He’s not going to move a point spread, and he can’t be expected to turn a seven-loss team into a 12-win team in one season.

When Texas hosts Alabama on Sept. 10 at DKR in Austin, no one associated with the University of Texas can expect Patterson to be the difference. UT is going to get smacked, and there is nothing Patterson can do about that.

He will be an assistant-assistant coach, whose input will be both welcomed and valued, but there is only so much he can do.

As evidenced by their six-game losing streak from Oct. 9 to Nov. 20 last year, the Longhorns were a mess on offense, defense and special teams.

Texas ranked 100th in total defense in FBS last season, 99th in scoring defense, 114th against the run and 80th against the pass.

Patterson can be expected to fix those types of statistics in a year as an assistant-assistant.

Texas is so bad, and the standard now is so laughably low in Austin, all the Longhorns have to do is improve and reach the mythical eight-win marker and adding Patterson will be viewed as a successful acquisition.

TCU fans, and ex-players, will feel conflicted over seeing their former coach working for their rivals. When Texas hosts TCU in Austin on Nov. 12, it will be awkward.

But Patterson is free to work for whomever wants to hire him, and the University of Texas makes sense for no less than six good reasons.

There is only one loser in this scenario, and it’s not Gary Patterson.

It’s Texas defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski, who can’t win even if the Longhorns do.