Spike's secret didn't get past Emory
August 01, 2013, 10:00 am by Mark Goodson
By Mark Goodson
Highlander Sports Editor
Only once has Spike Dykes made a hole in one.
It was back when he was just getting started in football coaching with his lifetime friend and fellow legend Emory Bellard.
He was on Bellard’s staff at San Angelo Central in the early 1960s.
Here’s how the story goes:
"It was off-season football and Emory had a district meeting to go to, so I ran the practice that day,’’ Dykes said. "We had the practice, but three or four of us coaches, thought it’d be a good day to sneak off and get in some golf. I got lucky and made one and I swore those guys to secrecy.’’
It was his biggest moment on the golf course and he couldn’t tell anybody about it.
"We’ll the next day, coach Bellard called me in to his office to see how practice went,’’ Dykes said.
"We’ll how did practice go?’’ Bellard asked.
"It went great,’’ Dykes said.
"We’ll how long did you go?’’ Bellard said.
"It was a good practice and we got a lot of good work in,’’ Dykes said.
A few more questions later, Bellard asked, "We’ll what iron did you use?’’
Dykes used a 6-iron to ace a 163-yard hole at the San Angelo Country Club.
"You just can’t keep a secret like that, they had to tell it,’’ Dykes said. "It was pretty hard to get anything over on Emory.’’
This Saturday Dykes he’ll be giving it his best shot when the 10th annual Emory Bellard-Spike Dykes Kids Care-A-Van Golf Tournament tees off at Delaware Springs Golf Course. The tournament has raised more than a million dollars since Bellard and Dykes teamed with Seton Highland Lakes Hospital to help kids who don’t have insurance get health care in the Highland Lakes community.
The fundraiser includes a Friday night tailgate party and Saturday’s golf scramble.
It’s a cause that Bellard, who passed away in 2011, and Dykes have been proud to support.
"Emory was so excited about it,’’ Dykes said. "He did all the ground work and knew all about. I couldn’t tell him no.’’
The tournament has been a shot in the arm for health care.
"It’s a great cause,’’ Dykes said. "People don’t realize how many people don’t have insurance…This is a great way to help and provide research. There have been seven or eight patients that have had diseases detected early enough that have allowed them to keep living.’’
Dykes’ 75 years are storied.
His coaching career is strong with West Texas ties and Texas Tech University.
He’s known for his down-home demeanor and building a career in football through the high school ranks, which are still dear to him.
"I try to go to as many Marble Falls games as I can’’ said Dykes, who retired in 1999 after 13 seasons at Texas Tech with an 82-67-1 record. "I go to a few Texas games and last year I went to several Louisiana Tech games (where his son Sonny Dykes was coaching.)’’
Sonny is at California Berkley now.
"I guess I’ll be going to California a few times this season,’’ Dykes said.
"Football has been a very good life for me and my family.’’
He has a passion for the sport and he’s still competitive through his golf.
Is he a scratch golfer?
"I scratch a lot when I play,’’ he said. "Really, I’m not that good a golfer…I like to think I’m going to shoot even par some day.’’
Dykes is a regular at the Horseshoe Bay courses and he and his wife Sharon got here as fast as they could.
"We beat Oklahoma on Saturday in Lubbock and we were here on Sunday and have been here ever since,’’ Dykes said. "There are a lot of places you go that have trees and water, but it’s the people here that make the difference.’’
Dykes has always been a difference maker.
He started his career modestly as an assistant at Eastland High School in West Texas. His path has taken him to stints with the best.
Besides his times with Bellard, he also coached with Darrell Royal at the University of Texas in the 1970s.
He was part of group of coaches and players that would go have lunch with Royal during his final days.
"He was still sharp,’’ Dykes said. "One of the last times I saw him, I was asking how he was doing. He said, "I’m still catching them faster than I can put them on the stringer.’’
Dykes has had many a big game. His 1989 Texas Tech team beat the Longhorns for the first time in Austin since the 1970s. It took a late rally that game, but the Red Raiders established themselves in the old Southwest Conference and Big 12 under Dykes.
Dykes’ five seasons at Texas allowed him to learn a lot from coach Royal.
Royal was renowned for his one-liners and his connections with country music, especially Willie Nelson.
"Coach Royal really listened to the words,’’ Dykes said. "He knew what the song meant. Shoot I just listen to the music. The only song I know all the words to, is the Star Spangled Banner.’’
Dykes said the big games were numerous.
"People always ask me about that, I they don’t get any bigger than when I was a Coahoma and we were playing Aspermont for the district title. The stadium had 1,000 seats and there were 2,000 people there at 5 o’clock…We went on an went 13-1 that season.’’
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