On Monday, Sept. 20, legendary Taylor men’s basketball coach Paul Patterson passed away after a longstanding battle with Alzheimer's. The Hall of Fame Coach was 78.
Patterson spent 34 years at Taylor — his last coming in the 2012–2013 season. In that time he recorded 28 winning seasons, 15 conference championships, 14 NAIA National Tournament appearances and a trip to the 1991 NAIA Final Four.
His 734 career wins at Taylor are the most of any head coach at a four-year Indiana college. That mark places him No. 43 all-time across every level of collegiate basketball.
Patterson quickly moved his way up the basketball ladder after playing at Hammond-Morton High School and Hanover College. His first coaching gig was at Spencer High School, before spending time at Somerset (KY), Amelia (OH), Northwest Missouri State University and Ashland Paul Blazer (KY). Then, he started his career at Taylor, where he remained through retirement.
“Coach Patterson was incredibly well-read and he thought deeply about coaching basketball, developing young men and his personal faith,” Director of Athletics Kyle Gould said in a statement to The Echo. “In every interaction with him, you would come away thinking more clearly than you did before.”
The legendary coach was honored in 2016 when the court in Odle Arena was formally re-named Paul Patterson Court. The logo with Patterson’s signature remains on the Odle court to this day.
“He was just a gifted man who knew how to use his talent and coupled that with his faith to develop and strengthen people,” Men’s Basketball Head Coach Josh Andrews said. “For me personally, he was a mentor, and always gave me time.”
Andrews has been the head coach of the program since Patterson retired, and said he uses Patterson’s example to this day.
“It’s an honor to play on a court named after him and all he stood for,” Andrews said. “So many of those principles made the men he coached successful beyond basketball, and we try to champion many of those same principles today.”
The team has plans to honor the legendary coach’s legacy this season but has yet to finalize specifics.
Patterson is survived by his wife Phyllis, two children Shannon Patterson and Michelle (Chris) Bombei, two granddaughters Maddie and Emily, his brother Steve, sister-in-law Pam and several nieces and nephews.
Family and friends may show their love and support from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 27 and from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 28 at Jones Crossing Banquet Center in Mooresville. A celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 28 at the banquet center.