Nearly a decade ago, four students wore overalls to a TCU football game, later forming what would become the face of the TCU student section: the Dutchmen.
When the group formed in 2012, they called themselves the Amp-It-Uppers. They became Dutch only in 2019 Patton Maynard took over as head Dutchman in his senior year.
“He’s the most infamous Dutchman in the best way,” said Erin Callaghan, this year’s Chief Dutchman.
Maynard and the rest of the team renamed the group after him Dutch Meyer, who played on the TCU football team in 1916-1917 and again in 1920-21. He was the head football coach at TCU from 1934-1952. After his final football season, he served as TCU’s athletic director for 11 years. Meyer also coached the baseball team in 1956 and won the Southwestern Conference championship.
The coach started as a water boy and frog mascot at the age of 7.
Meyer was inducted into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 1956. Meyer died on December 3, 1982 in Fort Worth.
Meyer’s loyalty to the program and the mark he left on it, including two national football championships, inspired Maynard and other members of the group to make him their namesake.
The Dutch were born.
Maynard also helped the team get a unique uniform; overalls with purple stripes to symbolize TCU’s rich tradition and white stripes to symbolize the knowledge TCU hopes to instill in its students, according to Holland’s page on gofrogs.com.
For the Dutch, game days are the most stressful days.
“A typical game day for us is that we get here 3 hours before the game, we set up our ladders and distribute boxes to each post to be ready for the mass of students,” Callaghan said. AA Dutch major, she has had the opportunity to see everything that goes into a game day at TCU.
From street signs to billboards, pom poms, rally towels and even poster design, “it’s the little things that make game day so great,” Callaghan said.
The Dutchmen have become something unique for TCU.
“When you put them in every game, you feel a sense of pride,” Callaghan said.
Their pride comes from a sense of being a part of something special at TCU.
“It was so cool to be a part of it and see all the effort that goes into it,” Callaghan said.
Dutch nationals do not apply for the programme, they must be nominated by a current Dutch national. Callaghan said she was lucky to be chosen because she expressed interest in joining the team to someone who happened to be Dutch.
But Callaghan’s survey process was interrupted by the pandemic.
Callaghan spoke with Liliana Ogden, one of the Dutchmen at the time, and asked for her email and phone number to set up an interview with the assistant athletic director of marketing, which every Dutch candidate must do.
“Then, two weeks later, COVID[-19] hit and we were all sent home,” Callaghan said. “But I ended up interviewing via Zoom and then I was on the team.”
Being able to wear the overalls, getting the student section ready before the game and interacting with the fans throughout the game made a difference in Callahan’s game day.
“I remember turning around and seeing the entire student body go ‘frog’ and throw up their hands,” Callaghan said. “It made me tear up a little bit because it’s something that brings us all together and to be able to be a part of that makes my heart so happy.”
The Dutch are not limited to the football season. They attend basketball and volleyball games. They also help spread the word about upcoming games by handing out stickers and gear along with head coach Sonny Dykes at the Founders Statue.
“It’s a way to engage with the student body to get everyone interested in our sports and athletic programs,” Callaghan said.
Callaghan concluded with two heartfelt words: