Reports: TCU parts ways with defensive coordinator Joe Gillespie

TCU athletics

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A five-win season in his second year at the helm of TCU was enough to force change from head coach Sonny Dykes. Reports surfaced Sunday, starting with Jeremy Clark at that defensive coordinator Joe Gillespie was “let go” as the Frogs’ defensive coordinator. Gillespie arrived with Dykes ahead of the 2022 season and helped TCU go 12-0 in the regular season and beat Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl to reach the national championship game. 

The Horned Frogs were the first team from Texas to play for a national title since Texas in 2009. They became the first team to post a losing record the season after playing for a national title since the Longhorns in 2010. Gillespie’s defense allowed 27.8 points in 2023, a 1.2-point improvement from the 2022 defensive output. The TCU defense also allowed more yards per play in 2022, but the lack of big plays in 2023 was noticeable. The Horned Frogs recorded 16 interceptions last season, but only eight in 2022. 

A near touchdown less of offensive production by TCU revealed the cracks in the defense. The Horned Frogs won the coin flip games in 2022 en route to a 12-0 regular season. They were 6-1 in one-score games last year with the only loss coming against Kansas State in the Big 12 championship game. They were 5-0 in such games during the regular season. TCU was 0-4 in one-possession games this year. 

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