Dykes, 51, is 30-17 in four seasons at SMU, including 25-9 in the past three seasons. In 2019, Dykes led SMU to a 10-2 season, becoming the first Mustangs coach to win 10 games in a season since Bobby Collins in 1984, prior to the NCAA's "death penalty" for the program. His .659 winning percentage is the second best in school history behind Collins among coaches who worked at SMU for more than two seasons.
Dykes replaces Gary Patterson, who was fired on Oct. 31 after 24 seasons in Fort Worth and 21 as the head coach. Dykes spent the 2017 season as an offensive analyst at TCU under Patterson.
Sources told ESPN that Miami offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee is the front-runner to replace Dykes at SMU, and an agreement could arrive in the next few days. Lashlee served as SMU's offensive coordinator in 2018-19 under Dykes.
The son of former Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes, Sonny Dykes has extensive connections in the state, and rebuilt SMU with a focus on players in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, which could benefit him at his new job 40 miles away.
The move is certain to add a new wrinkle to the Iron Skillet rivalry between the two teams, which has been played 100 times. Dykes and SMU won the past two, including this season, when a scuffle happened after the game when SMU player Rashee Rice tried to plant the Mustangs' flag on the Horned Frogs' turf.
This will be Dykes' fourth head-coaching job. He went 22-15 in three seasons at Louisiana Tech and was the 2011 WAC Coach of the Year. He then went 19-30 at Cal in four seasons, progressing from one win in 2013 to an 8-5 finish in 2015, but was fired after going 5-7 in 2016.
The news was first reported by ESPN's Ian Fitzsimmons.