Sep 18, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee walks on the sidelines prior to the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Ex-assistant Rhett Lashlee named head coach at SMU

SMU named Rhett Lashlee its head football coach on Monday.

Most recently the offensive coordinator at Miami (Fla.), he previously spent two seasons as SMU’s offensive coordinator. With the Mustangs, he will replace Sonny Dykes, who accepted the head coaching job at TCU.

“As with previous transitions, our process was thorough and competitive. Ultimately, though, our conversations kept leading us back to one man — Rhett Lashlee,” athletic director Rick Hart said in a news release. “Rhett’s ability to connect with recruits, his passion and love for his players and his alignment with our vision and values are among the many reasons he has been selected to lead SMU Football. We will provide Rhett with the support and resources he needs to bring a championship to the Hilltop, and are thrilled to welcome Rhett back to SMU.”

Lashlee, 38, was the offensive coordinator at SMU during the 2018 and ’19 seasons, during which time the Mustangs reached new heights. They finished 10-3 in 2019 — the program’s most wins since 1984 — and set a school record with 35 rushing touchdowns. The school ranked No. 7 in the nation in scoring (41.8 points per game), No. 13 in passing offense (309 yards per game) and No. 9 in total offense (489.8 yards per game).

“I am humbled and excited to be returning to SMU to lead Dallas’ College Football Team,” Lashlee said. “My family and I look forward to engaging the community and continuing to strengthen the program’s ties to the city. On the field, we want to build on the foundation of success we’ve established and compete for — and win — championships.”

Lashlee, who played quarterback at Arkansas (2002-04), is a two-time finalist for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation’s top assistant coach.

In addition to his two seasons at Miami, Lashlee served as offensive coordinator at UConn (2017), Auburn (2013-16), Arkansas State (2012) and Samford (2011).

SMU finished the regular season at 8-4 (4-4 American Athletic Conference) and is awaiting a bowl invitation.

–Field Level Media

Nov 14, 2020; Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA;  Southern Methodist Mustangs head coach Sonny Dykes on the sidelines during the game against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium. Tulsa won 28-24. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Sonny Dykes leaving SMU for TCU gig

SMU coach Sonny Dykes is leaving the program for a metro rival, accepting a deal to become the new coach at TCU, ESPN and Action Network reported Friday.

Dykes was offered $4 million to stay at SMU but TCU’s package was worth “significantly more,” according to ESPN.

Multiple media outlets reported that SMU is turning to former offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee to fill its impending head-coaching vacancy. Lashlee is currently the offensive coordinator at Miami.

Dykes, 52, served as the head coach at Louisiana Tech (2010-2012) and Cal (2013-16) before the Golden Bears’ program fired him after the 2016 season. Dykes spent a year as an offensive analyst for TCU before accepting the head job with SMU in December 2017.

His Mustangs are 8-3 this season entering Saturday’s regular-season finale against Tulsa. He has a 30-17 record in four seasons with SMU and a 71-62 overall record as a head coach.

TCU needed a replacement for Gary Patterson, the longtime Horned Frogs coach who left the job earlier this month.

The programs are separated by roughly 40 miles, with SMU in Dallas and TCU in Fort Worth. They were longtime rivals in the Southwest Conference and have maintained an annual rivalry game for the Iron Skillet.

–Field Level Media