Spike Dykes celebration

Former Texas Tech football coach Spike Dykes celebrates on the field with players and fans after a Red Raider victory. Dykes died on Monday at 79.

During his years as Texas Tech’s head football coach, Spike Dykes was known for his memorable quotes. Eventually, they came to be known Spike-isms. In his book “Tales from the Texas Tech Sideline,” Dykes said the quotes are words that came to him in the moment and are his own little pieces of West Texas commentary.


“A lot of people want to be around when you’re having the parade, but not many want to serve as pallbearer.” Spike Dyke’s 2004 book, “Tales from the Texas Tech Red Raiders Sideline”

“We had a chance to get way ahead early , but threes don’t add up like sevens. That hurt us.” Dykes on a September 1988 game against the Arizona Wildcats

“We are going into shark-infested waters. I’m sure they’ve got the train back on track, and with this being their home opener, they’ll be mad as the devil.” Dykes on an upcoming 1988 matchup with Texas A&M in College Station

“It’s great to beat Texas. It’s great to be behind 17 points and not give up the ship.” Dykes discussing an 18-point comeback against the Texas Longhorns in November 1988

“Those front four they got, I’ll tell ya, they’re something else. They could go bear hunting with a switch.” — Dykes on Baylor’s 1990 defensive line and the last group’s impressive play against Nebraska earlier in the season

“He won’t weigh 285 (pounds) for long if he has to do that for a living.” Dykes on New Mexico Lobos nose tackle Monte Cuba’s soulful rendition of the national anthem. Dykes implying that Cuba would not be able to put food on the table if he was a singer

“We just weren’t productive; that’s because when you have five turnovers, miss two field goals and get another one blocked; my gosh, that’s enough to choke a mule.”  Dykes on the Raiders not capitalizing on opportunities against Baylor during the 1990 season

“We played a bad game and I wish we hadn’t done it. I’m sorry. Lash me 43 times with a whip, but I can’t do anything about it now. We’re going to try and play good this week.”  Dykes on falling to 2-5 on the year after a loss to Rice in 1990

“It’s really appreciated when you sort of get your ox down in a ditch. It’s like an old dog when you get ‘em down. It’s fun to kick an old dog that’s laying down and sort of wore out. Our folks haven’t done that. Folks been awfully good and very supportive.”  Dykes praising the fan support of the Tech football team despite its 3-7 record in 1990

“We’ve had great weather and just enough of a sandstorm to keep a lot of people from moving here and keeping the population down like we like it. If every day was like last Friday, there’d be a million people living here. We don’t want that.”  Dykes on Lubbock’s weather during spring drills in 1991

“It’s a tough place to place, and you’ve got to shoot all your bullets to win.”  Dykes in 1998 on heading to Oklahoma to face the Sooners

“… I’m very proud to be a Texas Techsan. I’m very proud of our players.”  Dykes after a 24-23 loss to Penn State in 1995

“I don’t talk religion. I think you have to do that with your actions. I’m not a judge. All I do is try and encourage them to do the things that are right. That’s what it’s all about.”  Dykes in a 1996 article on sports and spirituality

 “But what happens is you get caught in one of those dog fights and you get tied around the tail.”  Dykes in a 1997 article about the status of the Big 12 compared to other conferences

“It’s a heck of a lot easier to start out 1-0 rather than 0-1.”  Dykes on a 35-14 victory over Baylor in October 1997

“Anytime that you’ve got players that make routine plays for an elongated amount of time and then all of a sudden they backfire on them, maybe they’re too tight. Or maybe they’re too loose. I don’t know.”  Dykes about a mistake-filled first half against Baylor in September 1987

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