TCU coach Gary Patterson shared an anecdote during a 30-minute speech Tuesday at the Champions Club in Amon G. Carter Stadium.
Several hundred in attendance for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce luncheon listened as Patterson tried to put the last two years of Horned Frogs football in perspective.
There he was, he recalled, sitting on a towel after a locker room shower just moments after the Frogs’ thrilling, historic Rose Bowl win.
“That 30 minutes on the podium was awesome,” Patterson explained. “Then later while everyone else is celebrating, I’m wondering how I’m going to get 150 college kids on the plane without being in jail.”
At the same time, just moments after a career-defining victory, Patterson said he was already thinking about the prospect of replacing 27 seniors.
“That’s what the boss does,” he said. “He’s thinking about how are you going to do it the next time?”
He told the story from a lectern perched on a staircase balcony overlooking the spacious dining room in the $164 million stadium that was being hurriedly completed at this time a year ago.
For Patterson, the story not only helped explain his 24/7 always coaching philosophy, but also helped explain some of the growing pains (and player behavior issues) of the past two seasons with “very young teams.”
“We’re starting to grow out of it,” he said. “Now we’re older; we still have one small senior class, but we’re growing older. Hopefully, that’ll transpire onto the field and we do the things we need to do as far as wins and losses.”
Patterson has, as always, guarded optimism about his 2013 team that returns most of the key elements that went 7-6 in its first year in the Big 12 last year.
“Last year, we only played six seniors; this year we’ll play eight,” he said. “It’s an exciting group.”
He took a few questions from the audience and one, of course, dealt with what’s surely going to be the most often repeated question Patterson will get Monday at Big 12 Media Days in Dallas: Who will be TCU’s starting quarterback?
He maintained that it was still open between Casey Pachall and Trevone Boykin, but earlier in his remarks said, “We get Casey Pachall back, but I’m very excited about Trevone Boykin.”
In direct response to the question, however, Patterson quipped: “Neither one has eliminated themselves by doing anything stupid up to this point.”
And then he offered a veiled clue by reminding the audience that Pachall led the nation in passer rating and the Frogs to a 4-0 start before his departure last October.
“That will be tested in two of the first three ball games,” he said. “So, hopefully, we’ll be ready for that.”