Skip to main content
Publish date:

Sources: Dykes, TCU nearing deal; Lashlee next up at SMU?

With Sonny Dykes poised to leave SMU for TCU, his pending exit creates a ripple effect around more than just two programs.

Though its search included conversations with, among others, Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, Louisiana's Billy Napier and Jackson State coach Deion Sanders, TCU is poised to make Sonny Dykes its next head coach.

Multiple sources within the past 10 days strongly indicated to FootballScoop that the Horned Frogs' leadership had zeroed in all efforts on securing Dykes, the SMU coach with 25 wins in his past three seasons who also is a Texas native.

The deal could be announced as soon as this weekend, sources said, after SMU concludes its regular season Saturday at home against Tulsa – a contest in which the Mustangs can secure their second season of nine or more wins in the past three years.

But Dykes' seemingly imminent departure doesn't just mean a spot filled at a Power 5 school for Big 12 resident TCU.

It also, perhaps only briefly, leaves vacant one of the very best Group of 5 jobs. Sources indicate Rhett Lashlee would be a strong candidate for the SMU job. 

Miami's offensive coordinator the past two seasons, Lashlee served on Dykes' Mustangs staff in 2018-19 as the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.

Of course, if that domino falls on South Beach, Lashlee's departure then brings back into question the future of Miami head coach Manny Diaz, who has faced elevated scrutiny this season as the Hurricanes have posted just a 6-5 mark this season and 20-15 ledger overall since Diaz took over the program prior to the 2019 season.

The Hurricanes face Atlantic Coast Conference cellar-dweller Duke this week on the road. Unless Miami wins that game and a bowl game, the program will have its second season in three years of six or more losses.

Blake James, the since-fired athletics director atop the Miami program, had declined to endorse Diaz's return of another year midseason, when James emphasized Diaz needed to win games.

If Lashlee and SMU formally reach agreement, it's a move that Miami's current interim leadership – the school has a search firm in its quest for a new athletics director to replace James – must factor into their evaluation of Diaz's future atop the program.

Clearly a lot of moving part here, so stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.