Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Former QB Bradshaw played role in La. Tech hire
By Graham Watson
It’s not too often that insight is shared regarding how a coach is hired, but on Monday, former Louisiana Tech quarterback Terry Bradshaw spilled the beans about the hiring of coach Sonny Dykes.
Bradshaw, who was speaking with members of the media during the Bradshaw-Brooks Golf Tournament at Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant, La., said that when he heard Derek Dooley was leaving for Tennessee he immediately offered to help the Bulldogs find a new coach. Bradshaw also enlisted the help of former Louisiana Tech coach and current FOX broadcaster Jimmy Johnson.
Johnson began his coaching career at Louisiana Tech as an assistant in 1965 before going on to coach at Oklahoma State and Miami (Fla.) where he won three bowl games and the 1987 national championship with the Hurricanes.
Johnson’s probably best known for winning two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys.
"We had to get a coach," Bradshaw said. "I had talked to Steve [Davison, current member of the LA Tech Athletics Council] and I called him from the FOX broadcast booth. I said, 'I am going to get Jimmy [Johnson] involved,' and he said 'Would you?' I said yeah. So I got Jimmy involved and we went to work making phone calls. Two or three more people that Tech had looked at and one in particular. So Jimmy Johnson was working hard for our school and giving us recommendations. It's hard to find a good coach. They have to fit what we do here."
Bradshaw and Johnson, who are both broadcasters on FOX NFL Sunday, had become good friends with former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach. Johnson also knew Dykes’ father, Spike, well. Johnson had heard good things about Sonny Dykes, who was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Arizona, and decided to pursue him as the new coach.
“When Sonny’s name came up -- Jimmy loves Mike Leach. Jimmy and I had taken Mike Leach fishing, the old Texas Tech coach. When Sonny’s name came up, Jimmy knew his dad and loved his dad and heard nothing but great things. So Jimmy made phone calls to make sure what he was hearing was validated and it was. The Sonny hire was approved wholeheartedly by Jimmy Johnson. I didn’t know anything about Sonny but I knew he ran the Texas Tech offense which I think is perfect for us.”
Sonny Dykes is currently in the midst of his first spring football season with the Bulldogs and is changing the offensive scheme to a spread style, which will be somewhat unique in the WAC. Bradshaw thinks that style and Sonny Dykes' background will help attract better recruits to Louisiana Tech and help it challenge for conference championships.
"There is a lot of interest in our school now because of Sonny Dykes," Bradshaw said. "Kids are realizing they are not going to play at Michigan, they are not going to play at Kansas. We're getting a lot of phone calls now because of kids wanting to transfer here. We have a former Tennessee wide receiver and a former LSU wide receiver. We want to start getting those kids out of high school and not get them from a transfer. The quarterback is the same thing. We have to start getting those guys and with Sonny, we will. We'll start getting those people."