Some coaches have the ability to take any team they coach and make them perform at a high level. Steve Patterson is one of those guys.
Patterson has made the state tournament on seven occasions with three different teams, and each time his team has at least qualified for the semifinals. He also has one state championship and one runner-up finish.
Earlier this week, Patterson resigned as a math teacher and as girls’ basketball and golf coach at Madison. He has accepted a teaching job at Brentwood High School.
“It has been a very difficult decision,” Patterson said. “I love Madison Academic High School. The Lord blessed me more than I could imaginie being here.
“I went to Madison because I felt the Lord calling me back to Jackson. I never thought that I would leave Trenton because I loved it there. But I wanted to be faithful, and I have been blessed by being faithful.”
Patterson has been at Madison since the school opened in 2003 and taken three teams to the state tournament in that time period with all three reaching the state semifinals — 2006, ’09 and ’13.
“The people that I have worked for and worked with and the student athletes that I have gotten to teach and coach have been a blessing that I can’t describe,” Patterson said.
Prior to that he led Trenton Peabody to the Class A state tournament twice, with a semifinal appearance in 2002 and a state championship in ’03.
Part of the reason for his move to Brentwood is to be closer to his two daughters, Charity and Hope.
“It is a big factor in my life and my wife’s life because Charity and Hope live there,” Patterson said. “But this is something that we have been praying about. God kept saying ‘No.’ He closed every door that we thought was open. But then he opened a door for us, and I am confident that the Lord is in this decision.”
But Patterson will also be the first to tell you that this decision does not mean that he is done coaching.
“This is not retirement from coaching,” he said. “I was not looking to get out of coaching. I still love teaching the game and still love coaching the game. That is just one of those things that I love to do.
“I feel like when the Lord wants me back in coaching, he will let me know. I have met one person at Brentwood, and that is the principal. I am excited about getting to meet the staff.”
Patterson will take fond memories of his 31 years of coaching as he heads to Middle Tennessee.
“I think that I have had the privilege and honor to coach some of the greatest girls’ basketball players in the state,” he said. “I have coached with and against some of the great coaches in the state. I appreciate being a part of all of that. It is a high level of basketball in this area, and it has been an honor for me to be a part of all that has happened the last 31 years.”
Patterson began his head coaching at Gibson County, leading the Lady Pioneers to the state tournament in 1988 and ’89. He then coached at Lambuth University and South Side before his move to Peabody.
Michael Odom, 425-9754