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The end of a coaching era

Grant Patterson has retired from coaching after nearly 40 years of working with high school youth


When the 2014-2015 high school sports season begins, a familiar face will no longer be on the Crook County High School sidelines.

Grant Patterson has been coaching at CCHS since 1976. After a long and illustrious career, Patterson has finally called it quits, announcing his resignation as head girls golf coach following the conclusion of the 2014 season.

“Just the fact that he started here in 1976 — that’s an amazing amount of time to dedicate to the kids of Crook County,” said CCHS athletic director Rob Bonner. “He’s by far the longest running coach that I have ever had the privilege to work with and he’s definitely going to be missed.”by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Grant Patterson poses for a photo with this year's golf team prior to the start of the season.  Patterson guided the team to a district championship and ninth place at the state tournament.

Girls golf is not the only sport that Patterson has coached at CCHS. He began his career in 1976 as an assistant football coach. Patterson accepted his first head coaching job with the district in 1977 when he took over as head boys golf coach for then-athletic director Russ Thurman.

Patterson continued to be an assistant football coach until 1991 when he was named interim head coach. He was the head football coach each of the next four years and was named Intermountain Conference football coach of the year in 1993 when he led the team to the state playoffs.

Patterson became the girls head golf coach in 1987 and remained in the position until his retirement this year. During his tenure as head coach, the boys golf team went to state once while the girls team reached the state tournament nine times.

“We are sad to see him go,” said Meadow Lakes Head Professional and CCHS boys golf coach Zach Lampert. “He’s really great with the girls. I know that they enjoy him and he’s got a lot of experience. He’s been doing it forever. You just can’t say enough about how he can turn a girl who’s never played into a girl who can help the varsity team by the time they are seniors.”

The Cowgirls qualified for state six of the last seven years, including two second-place state finishes. The Cowgirls first second-place finish was in 2008 when the team was still competing at the 5A?level. The second came in 2012 when the Cowgirls led defending Class 4A state champion Molalla after the first day of the tournament only to see Molalla come back on the second day to win their third of five-consecutive state titles.

“We had a chance to win three years ago and that was fun,”?Patterson said. “And the team that got second at 5A, that was a good effort, but the main thing is the lifelong friendships and relationships that have been made. They still stay in touch and I’m still friends with many of them and I think that’s a neat thing.”

Patterson added that one of the other accomplishments that he is proud of is the fact that he had transported athletes ever since 1976 without an incident.

“I think that was something,” he said. “Especially with some of the vehicles we drove in the early years. They wouldn’t let them on the road today, so I thought that was pretty good.”

Although he retired from teaching several years ago, Patterson has continued to be active at CCHS.

“I hope he continues to help out,” Bonner said. “He’s been the long-time announcer and clock guy for basketball so it’s not just coaching that he sponsored. What a resource he’s been to Crook County athletics and the children of Crook County.”

Patterson noted that the decision to retire was a difficult one, but that he believed that the time was right to step down.

“There are a lot of different reasons,”?he said. “The bureaucracy that you have to deal with while coaching was a factor. But I?guess the big thing was that I just started losing patience and I don’t like losing my patience. You have to be patient to coach girls golf.”

Patterson was quick to add that although he will no longer be coaching he still plans to be involved.

“I’m going to still go out and see them and help them if they want, but I’m not going to be the coach anymore.”



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