Dykes said that after considerable "thought and deliberation, I've decided to leave the University of Arizona and return to private business. I'm grateful for the opportunity John Mackovic, (athletics director) Jim Livengood and the Arizona athletic family have given me to work with some outstanding college athletes."
"I think the future of Wildcat football is bright, and I wish all involved great success," he said.
Dykes helped UA senior quarterback Jason Johnson set school records for single-season completions and passing yards and numerous single-game yardage and completion marks. Johnson also set UA standards with a completion percentage of .580, total offense of 2,954 yards and a UA career record of 6.4 yards per play. In two years as the starter Johnson threw 35 touchdown passes and finished No. 4 on the Wildcats' all-time passing yardage chart at 5,749 yards.
Further, Dykes mirrored Mackovic's emphasis on citizenship and helped mentor Johnson off the field.
Johnson, the UA's 2002 most valuable offensive player earned honors as the first-team Academic All-Pac-10 quarterback for two years, earned American Football Coaches Association "Good Works Team" honors this year, Academic All-District VIII honors twice, and today was named winner of the Woody Hayes National Scholar-Athlete Award by the Sertoma Club of Columbus, Ohio.
"I have a solid appreciation for Rick and his family, whom I know well," Mackovic said. "He did a terrific job helping us establish our program.
"This (development) didn't spring up overnight. He and I spent some time together the past weeks," Mackovic said.
Mackovic said he and Dykes visited prospective student-athletes the latter has been recruiting for UA's 2003 class, to assure them of the staff's dedication in working to turn around 5-6 and 4-8 seasons the past two years.
Dykes worked in private business for a year before joining the UA staff in late December 2000, but had 20 years' experience in coaching, notably at Texas Tech where he spent nearly a decade and tutored Doak Walker Award winners Byron Hanspard and Bam Morris. He also has experience at Rice and Temple.
Dykes and his father, Spike, then head coach of the Red Raiders, helped Texas Tech beat Oklahoma, a year away from its recent national championship season in the father-son coaching combination's final game at TTU in 1999.
Mackovic said a timetable for replacing Dykes on the staff has not yet been established, but that Dykes would continue to work through the recruiting period, which ends on national signing date in early Feburary. "We'll interview as soon as is practical," he said, and indicated a straight hire of a coordinator/quarterbacks coach might not necessarily happen. "We may adjust some responsibilities. I'll look at that more when I see the applicants."