May 23, 2013 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterPat Patterson, a teacher and football coach at American Falls High School in Idaho, has been offered the position of head football coach and freshman science teacher at Riverton High School.
If confirmed by the District 25 board, Patterson will succeed Jeremy McCormick, who resigned as head football coach earlier this month.
He was choosen from a pool of eight candidates.
Patterson has been the head football coach at AFHS for the past four seasons and coached his Beavers to an overall 18-18 record.
The school board meets Tuesday, when Patterson's approval is expected.
Patterson plans to hit the ground running and will be in Riverton next Wednesday to lead preparations for the Black Hills State College football camp that he will be attending with the Wolverines beginning Saturday, June 1.
"It's an exciting and stressful time, too. We've got football camp to prepare for,, and get a house fixed up and ready to sell, and seven kids to pack," Patterson said.
Patterson has coached high school sports for 23 years and is the fifth generation in his family to be a teacher and coach.
"I come from a very athletic family. My dad was the swim coach at the University of Texas (he's in the UT Hall of Honor) and also coached swimming at Texas A&M, Arkansas and Rice. At Arkansas under Frank Broyles, in the late 60s, he coached football with him. I played football, basketball, track and swam in high school at Austin Westlake," Patterson said.
Patterson played a year of college football at Howard Payne University as a tight end before transferring to the University of Texas to complete his education.
"My brothers and sisters are all school teachers and coaches. It runs in the family," Patterson said.
He sees himself as a "people person" who does a good job relating to both the athletes and coaches in his programs.
"I'm a detail-oriented guy. I like to coach not the Xs and Os but the Jims and Joes. I like to work with kids and teach them the little things about football. If they get the little things down, the bigger things take care of themselves.
"Football is teaching. I'm a teacher and an educator. I have fun watching kids have fun," Patterson said.
Although he began his coaching career as a defensive coach, he says coaching the offensive side of the ball is his preference and that he has coached teams that were both run- and pass-oriented, depending on the strengths of available personnel.
"When I came (to AFHS), our quarterback couldn't throw seeds to starving birds. We ran the ball all the time. I keep it simple for the kids and difficult for the defense. Then I had a kid come through the system as a quarterback who could throw the ball all over the place," Patterson said.
Patterson said he plans to hire both an offensive and defensive coordinator and will begin the process of refining his coaching staff after football camp.
RHS activities director Jeremy Hill confirmed the offer to Patterson Wednesday and said Randy Weber and Keith Brauneis, the only two assistant coaches under contract, will attend football camp as coaches with Patterson.
Patterson said he is aware of the recent turmoil in the football program at RHS and that he began his coaching at AFHS in a similar situation.
"There had been some turmoil. There was a lot of discontent in the community with the program, and it wasn't just the head coach. There was a lot of rigmarole going on. I'm not going to pay much attention to that stuff, We are going to go forward. I got together the best group of men that I could get together. I wanted guys that could relate to the kids, that were good men that I could rely on to be good, trustworthy men. When the game's over, in my 23 years of coaching I have never run a play. It is all the kids and the assistant coaches. To them go the accolades," Patterson said.
The coach said he plans to integrate middle school and youth football programs with the high school football program.
Patterson's wife, Courtney, is a nurse. Their seven children -- one girl and six boys -- range in age from 2 to 18.
Patterson said a big plus on his deciding to accept the position is the strength of other sports and activities at Riverton High School.
"I'm a family guy. I tell my players from the beginning that their family comes first. Same for our coaches," Patterson said.
Get your copy of The Ranger online, every day! If you are a current print subscriber and want to also access dailyranger.com online (there is nothing more to purchase) including being able to download The Mining and Energy Edition, click here. Looking to start a new online subscription to dailyranger.com (even if it is for just one day)? Access our secure SSL encrypted server and start your subscription now by clicking here.