EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Monday night in Los Angeles, top-ranked Georgia will battle No. 3 TCU for the College Football Playoff National Championship.
The Bulldogs are in search of back-to-back titles, but UTEP men’s basketball head coach Joe Golding and New Mexico State football coach Jerry Kill will be invested in the Horned Frogs.
Both men have major ties to the TCU program; Golding by blood, Kill because he worked at TCU less than 14 months ago.
First, Golding; the second-year Miners coach is the brother-in-law of first-year TCU head coach, Sonny Dykes. Dykes has been married to Golding’s sister, Kate, for around 15 years, according to Golding.
Because of that, Golding and Dykes have forged a tight bond and frequently talk ball. On Monday, Golding will hold an early morning practice for his Miners, then hop on a charter jet to LA to watch the title game with his wife, his youngest son and the rest of the family.
“It’s really cool if you know their long journey. I’m just so happy for them, what an incredible season. I didn’t have a chance to go to the semifinal, so I want to be there to support family when they hit milestones like this,” said Golding.
Dykes is in year one at TCU and Golding knows a thing or two about how impressive this first season has been and how hard it is to win in year one.
“It’s unbelievable; a lot of credit goes to Coach (Gary) Patterson as well for having some good players and obviously they did a really good job as a new stuff with developing a culture,” Golding said.
As for Kill, he was on staff at TCU in 2020 and 2021, Patterson’s last two years with the Horned Frogs. When Patterson was let go midway through the 2021 season, Kill took over as the interim head coach and saw TCU to the end of the year, before immediately coming to New Mexico State.
Kill also knows a thing or two about a one-year rebuild; like Dykes, he completely turned around the Aggies as NMSU went from 2-10 in 2021 to 7-6 in 2022. Kill and the Aggies polished off a Quick Lane Bowl victory over Bowling Green on Dec. 26.
Kill is already in LA catching up with friends from TCU as of Sunday afternoon. He and eight members of his current NMSU staff worked together in Fort Worth, so they still know plenty of people involved in the program.
“I know (TCU Head Coach Sonny Dykes) very well and they are taking care of me,” Kill told the Las Cruces Sun-News last week. “I’ve watched them every chance I had when we weren’t playing. It makes you feel pretty good when the administration is good to you. I’m not surprised at how they did. Sonny came in and did some things that needed to be done, similar to me here. Patterson hired Sonny when he didn’t have a job so there are a lot of ties there.”
TCU is a 12.5-point underdog to defending champion Georgia, but both Golding and Kill are confident the Horned Frogs have a shot at getting it done and will be pulling hard for TCU from the SoFi Stadium seats on Monday night.
“They’ll have to play their best game of the year, but I’m sure their kids are excited, their backs are against the wall and they’ve had a chip on their shoulders all year. I bet they show up and play,” Golding said.
No. 1 Georgia and No. 3 TCU will kickoff the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship at 5:30 p.m. MT on Monday on ESPN.