TCU may be one of the newest members of the Big 12 conference, but do not count the Horned Frogs out so quickly.
One of the biggest strengths that TCU has going into the 2012 season is its defense. Run by defensive coordinator Dick Bumpas, this group looks to be stout.
So, who exactly is Bumpas?
Whether many know it or not, Bumpas actually has a long history with TCU head coach Gary Patterson. The two first coached togethers in the 1980s - Bumpas as a defensive line coach and Patterson as a graduate assistant for Kansas State University, per TCU's athletic website. The two would then continue coaching together at Tennessee Tech before being separated for eight years. During those eight years apart, Bumpas coached at Tennessee, Arkansas and Notre Dame, per Rivals.com. They would reunite at Utah State and again at Navy.
TCU became the fifth school Bumpas and Patterson would coach at together. This time, Patterson is head coach, while Bumpas joined in 2004 as the defensive coordinator and defensive line coach. Over time, it has become apparent through their coaching that for these two, defense is their specialty.
Since being at TCU, Bumpas' defense has led the nation in total defense in 2008, 2009 and 2010. It's fitting that during those three years, he was also awarded the Frank Broyles Award, which recognizes the national top assistant coach.
Before Bumpas ever coached, he became inspired by a man that coached him. His inspiration was drawn from Frank Broyles, former Arkansas Razorbacks head coach. While a Razorback, Bumpas was a three-time varsity letter and a captain. In 2006, Bumpas was later inducted into the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor.
It was his days at Arkansas with Broyles that taught Bumpas the most.
Whether it is the lessons he learned from Broyles or the career longevity he has had with Patterson, Bumpas has surrounded himself with quite the support system. Those words of wisdom and support will come in handy for Bumpas as TCU faces their first season in the Big 12.
There are still a lot of questions marks for the new kids on the block, but if Bumpas has any say, all of them will be answered in TCU's favor.