FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) — Texas Christian University held its first news conference since parting ways with Head Football Coach, Gary Patterson during his 22nd season leading the program.

That announcement came on Sunday, October 31.

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TCU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Jeremiah Donati began on Tuesday, November 2 saying the last few days have been “really tough” but said there are brighter days to come.

TCU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Jeremiah Donati (CBS 11)

“Gary Patterson is a TCU icon,” said Donati. “He’s built this football program and he’s helped build this university and this community and we’re forever indebted to his incredible contributions.”

Donati said that he and TCU chancellor, Dr. Victor J. Boschini met with Gary on Sunday to let him know that they would be making a head coaching change at the end of the season. “Out of respect for Gary, we did not want to engage a search firm without sharing our plans first,” said Donati.

Donati said Patterson has shown class and professionalism over what has been a difficult several days.

Head coach Gary Patterson of the TCU Horned Frogs reacts in the first half against the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on October 03, 2020 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

In a news release Sunday, officials said, “We asked him to continue on as our head coach for the remainder of the season, and take on a different role in 2022, but he believed it was in the team’s and TCU’s best interests to begin the transition immediately. We respect Coach Patterson’s perspective and will move forward in that direction. I’ve asked Jerry Kill to serve as interim head coach, and he has accepted the role for the remainder of the season. Coach Patterson will assist TCU in the transition to take place.”

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Donati was asked at what point he realized a change had to be made. He said they expected this year was going to be a ‘bounce back’ year. “The last few years have been sub-par based on the standards that Gary has set for this program,” Said Donati. “Probably mid-October it became apparent we weren’t going to meet those expectations.”

Donati said he would not be surprised to see Patterson to coach somewhere. “You know Gary, he’s a young 61. I wouldn’t put anything past coach Patterson. To coach again… college… pro,” said Donati.

Donati said they hope to have a replacement ready and in place by early December to talk with recruits.

“This is the house that Gary built,” said Interim Head Football Coach Jerry Kill. “For coaches to stay twenty-three years is unheard of in this day and age.”

Kill also said that he was sure that Patterson would be coaching again.

Coach Patterson has the most wins of any coach in TCU history with 181.

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His best season was 2014 when he led the Horned Frogs to a 12-1 record. Staff