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Gary Patterson: “Coaching has become a little bit more like Days of Our Lives"


SMU and TCU are long, bitter rivals. June Jones and Gary Patterson are not. In fact, they are friends, or at least colleagues that share ideas and work together. Their seventh meeting (Patterson has won five of the six meetings) was scheduled for Sept. 28 in Dallas. Key word: was. The Horned Frogs and Mustangs will still play, but Patterson will stand opposite interim head coach Tom Mason after Jones stepped down on Monday. 

"Coaching has become a little bit more like Days of Our Lives," Patterson told the Dallas Morning News. "I think every school in the state besides Texas had changed [coaches] over three times since we’ve been here. So how do you navigate all that?"

He's right. Ten of the 12 FBS programs in the state of Texas (excluding Texas and upstart UTSA) have had at least three head coaches since Patterson first took the reigns in 2000. Texas A&M and Houston have had four, and SMU will join them when a new coach is hired later this fall. Texas State has had five.

"Sometimes, it comes down to they [players] just want to hear somebody else say it," Patterson said. "That’s what I’ve learned in 33 years in this business."

So what is a coach to do, when 33 years of working sunrise to sunset seven days a week isn't enough anymore, simply because you are the person you are and not someone else?

"When you think that the change will be better than what you are able to get done. When you’ve done everything that you can do and you can’t make a difference anymore," he said. "You’ve got to have enough personality that you can re-invent yourself. If you can’t re-invent yourself and change what public opinion is of you, what your college thinks of you, whether it’s football or anything else in life, it’s hard to succeed. It’s hard to do anything."

Perhaps, standing on the sideline of his second blowout in one calendar week, that is what Jones realized.