ESPN college basketball analyst Jimmy Dykes graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1985. Almost 30 years later, he’s returning to Fayetteville as head coach of the Razorbacks women’s basketball program. This weekend it was announced that Dykes was leaving ESPN and returning to coaching after being with ESPN for almost 20 years, beginning his Bristol career in the 1995-1996 season. Dykes has most notably been calling SEC games with Brad Nessler at ESPN and also worked a myriad of other men’s and women’s basketball events. We’ll certainly miss the number of times Dykes and Nessler lovingly called each other “partner.”
Dykes hasn’t coached since the 1990-1991 season when he was an assistant at Oklahoma State. Arkansas did go 19-11 last year under former coach Tom Collen, who was fired after leading the Razorbacks to just 1 NCAA Tournament appearance in 7 seasons.
In an interview with his now former employer, Dykes talked about his love for the university and the unique opportunity that was presented to him. “It’s a chance for me to do something for the University of Arkansas, which is so dear to my heart,” Dykes said. “I don’t think anyone else in the country can do as well as I have the ability to do.”