Legendary Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes passed away at the age of 79 on Monday morning, leaving behind him an incredible legacy as a coach and a man. So, in this week's edition of the Roundtable, the question is simply:
What does Spike Dykes mean to you?
Chris Level: This one is tough because he meant so much to so many. He got the most out of every day and he never, ever had a bad day. Simply put, a giant of a man. The definition of role model. A man of integrity, humor, generosity and fairness. Enjoy him, Lord. Do yourself a favor. Put him in charge of something important.
Will McKay: As a kid who grew up going to Texas Tech football games, Spike Dykes was always a mythical football figure for a small town boy from Pampa, Texas whose grandparents and many other family members were Red Raiders.
It was all about the football as a kid, but as I've grown up and become an adult, my adulation for him flipped from what he did on the field to everything off it.
As a man, I now know that he was just that: a man. A real man. When you listen to all the stories, all the thoughts from people who have had something to say about Spike in the last two days, very little of it has been about the football. It's been about the man, who he was, and how he loved people. And people loved him.
At the end of each and every one of our lives, people will talk about our accomplishments and accolades, but they'll remember us by who we were.
Coach Dykes' legacy is one I will always strive for: A man who was beloved by all and truly made a difference in many, many lives.
Drew Kohnle: As my interest in Tech football has grown, my interest in the giants of Tech’s football past has also grown, with Dykes being one of my foremost interests. The wins, the awards, the hard-nosed defenses, the off-the-wall quotes and stories, and the true “West Texas” persona, Dykes seemed to possess it all.
Despite his successes as a coach being well before my time around Tech football, I’ve hung on every word of every story that has been told since his passing. You just want to hear more stories about the man and the way he lived his life.
I never met him, but as every story unfolds, as each person shares their favorite Spike memory, I just can’t help but sit wide-eyed and be happy that this great man had such an impact on Texas Tech as well as countless people and communities.
Rest in Peace, coach.
Maitland Rutledge: Dykes epitomized the Red Raiders and West Texas. Seven straight bowl seasons, Southwest Conference Coach of the Year in 1996, and he put Texas Tech football on the map during the 1980s and 1990s.
Legendary Red Raiders like Zach Thomas, Byron Hanspard, and even Kliff Kingsbury always talk about how much Dykes meant to them during their playing days. What I probably love the most about him is how he made Lubbock and Texas Tech a priority even after his coaching days were over. I would see him constantly make appearances at luncheons and alumni celebrations. I always have an appreciation for Tech alumni who want to stay actively involved with the university. Spike Dykes is a true Texas Tech legend who should always be remembered.
Kyle Jacobson: Unfortunately, I never had the privilege of meeting Coach Dykes or watching one of his teams play. By the time I got to West Texas, Dykes was more of a legend and an icon, the subject of many tales rather than a tangible figure within the football program at the time. Others surely have more valuable insights and memories of Dykes than I do, but his impact on the people of West Texas is readily apparent even to people like me who never knew him. His legacy is one that won't soon be forgotten by Red Raiders all over.
Kolt Rogers: To me, Spike Dykes represents everything that is West Texas, and Texas Tech. Coach Dykes was a very well respected man, and his genuine respect and kindness to others was shown everyday. There were many great memories under Spike Dykes, and many great players. Coach Dykes was a pivotal figure in helping make Tech what it is today, and I hope he one day makes it into the Ring of Honor.