Dickey, who got his coaching start as a graduate assistant at Texas A&M in 1985, came to Texas A&M after five seasons as the offensive coordinator at the University of Memphis under Justin Fuente and Mike Norvell. Over a 30-plus year coaching career, Dickey has served as the offensive coordinator at seven Football Bowl Subdivision schools, in addition to a six-year stint as the head coach of the University of North Texas.
Dickey played an instrumental role in Memphis’ turnaround and rise on the college football’s national landscape. In the two seasons prior to his arrival in 2012, the Tigers won just three games, but Dickey helped change the program’s image quickly.
Over the last four seasons, Dickey was a member of the Tigers coaching staff that led the program to a 37-14 record (.725 winning percentage), four-straight bowl appearances, a conference championship and two divisional titles. The 37 wins are the most over a four-season period in Tigers history and also placed Memphis among the nation’s top-25 college football programs for wins and winning percentage from 2014-17.
One of the keys to Memphis’ rise has been the consistently prolific offenses directed by Dickey. Dickey’s 2017 offense (prior to the bowl game) averaged 47.7 points (No. 2 nationally), 548.2 total yards (No. 4), 339.1 passing yards (No. 8) and 209.1 rushing yards (No. 30). Memphis was one of six teams in FBS to gain more than 6,000 total yards from 2015-17.
Dickey joined the Memphis program after serving as co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach at Texas State in 2011. Texas State’s rushing attack averaged 195 yards per game and scored 20 of the team’s 35 offensive touchdowns. In seven of 12 games, the Bobcats tallied at least 200 yards rushing, and the squad registered at least 40 carries in nine games.
Dickey made his move to Texas State after spending two seasons as offensive coordinator and running backs coach at New Mexico. He also served as offensive coordinator at Utah State in 2007-08.
At Utah State, Dickey’s 2008 offense produced 1,653 rushing yards, the school’s highest total in nine seasons. In addition, Aggies signal-caller Diondre Borel was one of seven quarterbacks nationally to lead their respective teams in rushing and passing.
Dickey went to Utah State after serving nine years as the North Texas head coach from 1998-2006. He guided the Mean Green to four-consecutive Sun Belt Conference (SBC) championships from 2001-04 with a combined league record of 25-1. Dickey’s overall record in SBC play was 29-11, including a 26-game conference win streak that stretched from 2001-05. North Texas participated in four-consecutive New Orleans Bowls from 2001-04.
He coached North Texas to nine wins for the first time in 23 years in 2003, after winning eight contests a year earlier. In the 2003 New Orleans Bowl, Dickey’s squad suffered a 27-17 loss to Memphis. The Mean Green also had a 7-5 mark in 2004.
Under his direction, North Texas landed 70 players on All-SBC teams, including 39 first team selections. Dickey was named the head coach of the Sun Belt Conference’s 30th Anniversary Team in 2004. Dickey also guided the Mean Green to its first bowl win in 57 years when North Texas defeated Cincinnati in the 2002 New Orleans Bowl.
North Texas produced back-to-back NCAA rushing leaders in Patrick Cobbs (2003) and Jamario Thomas (2004). Cobbs led the nation with 152.7 yards per game in 2003, and Thomas repeated the feat with 180.1 yards per contest in 2004. In his final season at North Texas, Dickey suffered a heart attack on Oct. 13, 2006, but missed just one game. In a nine-month span, Dickey had his gall bladder removed, was diagnosed with diabetes and suffered a heart attack.
The offensive-minded Dickey went to North Texas after serving as offensive coordinator at SMU in 1997. That season, the Mustangs posted their first winning record since the program returned to the playing field in 1989 following the NCAA “Death Penalty.”
He went to SMU after serving as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at UTEP from 1994-96.
Dickey also was a tight ends coach at LSU from 1991-93, during which time the Tigers upset No. 1-ranked Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 1993. He went to LSU after serving as quarterbacks and running backs coach at Mississippi State in 1990. That season, the Bulldogs beat LSU for the first time in six seasons when running back Tay Galloway ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns.
Dickey was the offensive coordinator at Memphis from 1987-89, after serving one season as Tigers running backs coach in 1986. In his first coaching stint in the Bluff City, the Tigers upset SEC powers Alabama (1987) and Florida (1988). He also served as a graduate assistant at Texas A&M under then-head coach Jackie Sherrill in 1985 when the Aggies won the Southwest Conference title and played in the 1986 Cotton Bowl.
Dickey is the son of Jim Dickey, who was head football coach at Kansas State from 1978-85. He played quarterback for his father and led the Wildcats to the 1982 Independence Bowl, the program’s first bowl game. He also played in the 1982 Blue-Gray All-Star Game. Dickey graduated from Kansas State in 1983 with a degree in business administration.
He and his wife, Tory, have a daughter, Meredith.