Spike Dykes remembered as ‘great coach and an even better person’

Posted by on Apr 10, 2017 in News | 0 comments

Mayor Dan Pope remembers former Texas Tech football coach Spike Dykes as someone who was always concerned about others instead of wanting to talk about himself.

“It was inevitable that, when you spent time with Spike, you always walked away feeling better about yourself,” Pope said. “Coach Dykes was the consummate West Texan and Red Raider. He was a great coach and an even better person.”

Dykes died early Monday of an apparent heart attack. He was 79.

Joe Landin, marketing director at Reagor Dykes Auto Group, said he met Dykes in the ’90s when Landin worked at A-J Media, and reconnected with him after he joined Reagor Dykes.

Even though Dykes retired from coaching Tech football 18 years ago, Landin said people across Lubbock and the South Plains remember him as family because of his legacy to always to the right thing and have long-lasting relationships with his players, fans and the Tech community.

“That’s why 18 years later, we’re having a sad day, a day of remembrance,” Landin said. “There aren’t many coaches that leave a program, that pass away 18 years later … that a community still remembers the way he’s being remembered today.”

After retiring in 1999 as Tech’s winningest football coach, the city of Lubbock presented Dykes with a special recognition in 2000. More recently, the Lubbock Area Foundation, which has since changed its name to the Community Foundation of West Texas, honored Dykes in 2013 as its Hero of the Year.

Michelle Tosi-Stephens, the foundation’s Vice President of Development, said she still remembers the event, which brought some of Spike’s former players from all over the country, like it was yesterday.

“The Community Foundation is saddened to hear of this great loss of one of our heroes, but feel fortunate that we have the Sharon and Spike Dykes Family Endowment that will continue to support nonprofits that were close to Spike’s heart forever,” Tosi-Stephens said. “His integrity, humor, determination, appreciation of traditional West Texas values and genuine love for people have made a lasting mark on the hearts of all who were fortunate enough to know him.”

Tech graduate and U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington offered his payers to Dykes’ family Monday afternoon.

“(My wife) Anne and I are saddened by the loss of our friend and legendary Red Raider football coach, Spike Dykes,” the Lubbock Republican said in a statement. “He exemplified the best of Texas Tech University and embodied the character and color of West Texas like no one else.”

Landin said the outpouring of support after news broke about Dykes’ death is not only a tribute to him, but also his family who all have the ability to make others feel special.

“Everyone was one of a kind to him,” Landin said. “He saw everybody with the same pair of glasses. No one was not worth his time.”

Lubbock Chamber of Commerce Chairwoman Diannah Tatum said Dykes was a legend, who will be greatly missed.

“Spike was a good man who loved Lubbock and the people of West Texas, and they loved him,” Tatum said. “He was an ambassador for Texas Tech and this community and the people here embraced him.”

In addition to his success leading Tech out of difficult times on the football field, Pope said he remembers Dykes as someone who was a friend to everyone.

“One of the traits I look for in leaders is humility and Spike never wanted to talk about himself. He always wanted to talk about you,” Pope said. “It didn’t matter who came up and talked to him, he had time for ‘em. That was Spike.”

{Source: LubbockOnline.com}