The SMU Mustang football team, along with head coach Sonny Dykes, will demonstrate a tougher, more physical defensive game during the 2018 Spring Game on Saturday, April 14. The scrimmage begins at 11 a.m. in Ford Stadium.
Gates will open at 10 a.m. and, along with on-field action, fans will be part of a halftime celebration to mark the start of construction of SMU’s Indoor Performance Center. The Mustang Kids’ Zone will be set up in the south end zone, and fans can pick up 2018 schedule magnets and meet the coaches and players after the game.
Concessions will be available, and Mi Cocina, Bahama Buck’s and Ruthies Rolling Cafe will be on-site. Admission is free, and so is parking in the Moody and Binkley Parking Centers.
The Mustangs open the 2018 season on Sept. 1 at North Texas, before returning to the Hilltop for a Friday night match-up with Metroplex rival TCU on Sept. 7. The Battle for the Iron Skillet will also be SMU’s annual Whiteout Game.
The team will play Michigan in Ann Arbor on Sept. 15 and hosts Houston Baptist on Sept. 29 (Family Weekend) for its final non-conference game.
Head Coach Sonny Dykes and the SMU football program announced the addition of 12 student-athletes to the 2018 Mustang class on National Signing Day 2018, Wednesday, Feb. 7. The 12 players join seven previous signees who committed to the program on Early Signing Day, Dec. 20, 2017.
The class includes five junior-college transfers in addition to 14 prep players. Sixteen of the student-athletes hail from Texas. Two come to the Hilltop from Louisiana and one from Washington, D.C.
The Mustangs open 2018 spring practice on Wednesday, March 21, and will host their annual spring scrimmage at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on Saturday, April 14.
The 2018 season will be Dykes’ first as SMU head coach. In the home opener, the Mustangs will face the TCU Horned Frogs in the Battle for the Iron Skillet on Friday, Sept. 7. The team will play one other home game in September, a non-conference tilt with the Houston Baptist Huskies on Saturday, Sept. 22.
Sonny Dykes has been named SMU’s head football coach, as Director of Athletics Rick Hart announced on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. Dykes arrives on the Hilltop after head coaching stints at Cal and Louisiana Tech. He will coach the Mustangs in the DXL Frisco Bowl on Wednesday, Dec. 20.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be introduced as the Head Coach at SMU. This is home and this is a program I grew up watching. I watched Mustang legends compete and I could always see myself putting on that iconic pony. Today, I’m proud to do just that,” Dykes said. “Coach Morris did great things here and I am fortunate that I have been selected to take the foundation Chad and his staff put in place and take it to a new level. And, make no mistake, that is what we plan to do.
“This is a proud football program with a rich tradition,” he added. “It is also a proud academic institution. I place great emphasis on both. We will set lofty goals for our program, but will keep our primary focus on improving every day in all phases on and off the field to ensure we build a total program and shape champions.”
“It is my pleasure to introduce Sonny Dykes as the Head Football Coach at SMU,” said Hart. “Coach Dykes is enthusiastic about joining the Mustang family. He has a plan to assemble a talented staff, dedicated to shaping champions and pursuing championships with integrity. Coach Dykes shares our commitment to establishing SMU as the best overall program in the American Athletic Conference.”
Dykes, the son of former longtime Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes, spent four seasons at Cal (2013-16) and three seasons at Louisiana Tech (2010-12). He served as an offensive analyst at TCU in 2017.
At Cal, Dykes returned the school’s football program to national prominence and a post-season bowl game. Inheriting a team that went 3-9 in the season before his arrival, Dykes had the Bears at 8-5 just three seasons later, capping the 2015 season with a win over Air Force at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl.
Dykes came to Cal after spending three seasons at Louisiana Tech where he directed an offense that led the nation in both scoring offense (51.50 ppg) and total offense (577.92 ypg) during his final campaign at the helm in 2012. He spent three seasons as head coach for the Bulldogs, compiling a 22-15 overall record and winning 16 of 17 regular-season games during one stretch over the 2011 and 2012 schedules.
As offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Arizona for three seasons from 2007-09, Dykes helped the Wildcats to the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl and 2009 Holiday Bowl after Arizona had not reached the postseason for 10 years. Arizona posted marks of 8-5 both seasons and tied for second in what was then the Pac-10 in 2009 with a 6-3 league mark.
Prior to his tenure at Arizona, Dykes spent seven seasons at his alma mater Texas Tech, serving as receivers coach from 2000-04 and adding the title of co-offensive coordinator from 2005-06. The Red Raiders made seven straight postseason appearances and won 56 games during the span, including four postseason victories over his last five seasons in the Tangerine, Houston, Holiday and Insight bowls. In 2006, Dykes received the Mike Campbell Top Assistant Coach Award from the American Football Coaches Association, the same year he was recognized as one of the top 25 recruiters in the country by Rivals.
Dykes began his collegiate coaching career with a two-year stint (1995-96) at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas. He also was a baseball assistant at Monahans High School in Texas in 1994 and a football assistant at Richardson’s J.J. Pearce High School in 1995.
Born in Big Springs, Texas, Dykes received his bachelor’s degree in history from Texas Tech in 1993 and was a member of the Red Raider baseball team for two seasons. He is married to the former Kate Golding and they have two daughters, Alta (Ally) and Charlotte (Charlie), and a son, Daniel.