Gary Patterson to the Trojans? Probably not

TCU coach Gary Patterson wasn't interested in the Texas job before the school decided on Charlie Strong.
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

As is the case any time a head coaching job at a major program has opened in the last five years or so, TCU coach Gary Patterson reads his name in articles and tweets as a possible candidate.

And that’s as far as it ever goes.

Patterson, now in his 15th season in charge at No. 3-ranked TCU — and in his 18th season overall at the school — has never shown much interest in leaving the small, private school in Fort Worth that has wasted no time in becoming a Power 5 conference powerhouse since joining the Big 12 four years ago.

So when Patterson’s name is mentioned as a possible successor to Steve Sarkisian at USC, well, it’s sort of like a professional courtesy for one of the most successful coaches in the nation.

Patterson, raised in rural Kansas and a graduate of Kansas State, could barely be bothered when Texas was searching for a replacement for Mack Brown. It ultimately settled on Charlie Strong.

And it’s not as if Patterson’s heartstrings will guide him to Hollywood. His connections to California are limited to stints at UC Davis (1986), Cal Lutheran (1987) and Sonoma State (1989-91). Of course there was the 1998 Sun Bowl when as TCU’s defensive coordinator, the Frogs held USC to a Sun Bowl-record minus-23 yards rushing. Then again, if Patterson is interested in turning his guitar-pickin’, country-singin’ hobby into more of a career, maybe he’d consider L.A.

When TCU was dispatched to the college football hinterland for a decade-and-a-half as a so-called little sister of the poor, Patterson consistently had the Horned Frogs in the national headlines, including a Rose Bowl victory over Big Ten power Wisconsin.

Beloved at TCU and within the Fort Worth community, Patterson will never be fired at the school and one day will have a statue outside of the beautifully refurbished Amon G. Carter Stadium he made possible. The place will probably name the field after him when he retires. Or maybe before.

So a candidate for the USC job. Yeah, sure, why not? Just don’t expect to hear his name mentioned much more in that regard.

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