No. 4: Rex Dockery was handed a great program at Texas Tech and he quickly ran it off the rails
Sometimes, the ability of a coach to succeed depends on the type of program he is handed. However, in the case of Rex Dockery, he was handed a healthy winning program and in only three years he ran Texas Tech football into the ditch.
Dockery came to Tech in 1975 as offensive coordinator under Steve Solan who he had coached with at Vanderbilt. Then, when Sloan left Lubbock for Ole Miss in 1978, he was promoted to head coach.
At that time, the program had reeled off seven winning seasons in the previous eight years and had gone to four bowl games during that span. In other words, Dockery was entrusted to keep alive the best stretch in program history to that point and he wasn't able to.
In 1978, on the back of what Sloan had built, Dockery did go 7-4 and won Southwest Conference Coach of the Year honors. However, a year later he guided his program to just a 3-6-2 mark and a 7th place finish in a conference of eight teams. Then, in 1980, he managed just a 5-6 record to finish tied for 6th place in the SWC.
Those two losing seasons would set the stage for the worst stretch in program history, a run of seven straight losing seasons, and after the 1980 campaign, Dockery would land at Memphis State (now Memphis) where he would also fail miserably.
Overall, Dockery's record as a college head coach was just 23-40-3. That included a mark of 15-16-2 at Tech where he was handed the keys to a program that was running smoothly and he proceeded to drive it off the road in almost no time.