|Title:||Quarterbacks Coach/Recruiting Coordinator|
Don Patterson enters his third season as quarterbacks coach at Buffalo and the passing game has improved significantly since his arrival.
In 2012, both Alex Zordich and freshman Joe Licata posted good numbers. Zordich threw for 1,254 yards and nine touchdowns while Licata passed for 1,045 yards and seven touchdowns.
In his first year with the Bulls, Patterson coached Chazz Anderson who passed for 2,454 and 11 touchdowns on the season.
Patterson has a long and decorated coaching career, including tremendous success as a head coach at the Football Championship Series (FCS) level with Western Illinois. Patterson spent 10 seasons at Western Illinois, compiling a 62-45 overall record before illness forced him to step away from coaching for a year.
Patterson led the Leathernecks to three playoff berths, a pair of Gateway Football Conference titles and a No. 1 national ranking during his tenure. In his decade as head coach, Patterson produced 108 all-conference honorees, 34 academic all-conference selections, 59 All-Americans, including two consensus all-Americans, and two academic All-Americans.
Patterson came to Western Illinois after a 20-year run with famed Iowa head coach Hayden Fry, part of a coaching tree that includes Wisconsin’s Bret Bielema, Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz, Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops and Arizona’s Mike Stoops.
During his tenure at Iowa, the Hawkeyes appeared in 14 bowl games, including three Rose Bowls. The 1985 Iowa team was ranked No. 1 in the nation for five weeks, en route to a school-record 10 wins.
Under Patterson’s guidance, the Iowa offense was explosive, leading the Big Ten in rushing (217.0 yards/game) and scoring (34.3 points/game) while finishing second in pass efficiency in 1997. Iowa finished the 1997 campaign ranked eighth in the nation in rushing offense and ninth in scoring, and had its highest pass efficiency ranking of any Iowa team since 1985.
Patterson was instrumental in Iowa’s success, making the Hawkeyes one of only three Big Ten teams (also Ohio State and Michigan) to play in 14 bowl games during his tenure. Iowa appeared in the Rose Bowl after the 1981, 1985 and 1990 seasons, and made eight consecutive bowl appearances from 1981-88. The success of the Hawkeyes was immediate upon Patterson’s arrival with Fry, evidenced by a Rose Bowl berth in their third season (1981), which was Iowa’s first Rose Bowl appearance since 1958. Iowa ranked third among Big Ten teams in victories from 1979-98, and was one of three Big Ten teams to win more than 100 games between 1984-98.
From 1979-98 the Hawkeyes produced 38 first-team all-Big Ten selections, as well as six special teams first-teamers. Six Hawkeyes were first round NFL draft picks while five others were chosen in the second round and seven more in the third. Patterson directly coached five of Iowa’s top seven career receivers, with the other two playing during his time. Prior to being named offensive coordinator, Patterson coached the Iowa tight ends - two of which, Marv Cook and Jonathan Hayes, enjoyed lengthy NFL careers.
Patterson was the last member of Fry’s original Hawkeye staff. His association with Fry began in 1978 as an assistant at North Texas State coaching the defensive secondary. He joined Fry, serving in the same capacity, at Iowa in 1979. He served as recruiting coordinator in 1980 before coaching tight ends in 1981, a segment he coached until he began instructing quarterbacks and receivers in 1989.
The 1973 West Point graduate served on the cadet honor committee and was named to the highest-ranking cadet staff while at the Academy. He and his wife, Lisa, have a daughter, Brooke, who earned her doctorate in pharmacy from Purdue University.