In his desire to become a high school basketball coach at the varsity level, Bryan Patton said he didn't want to take over a program that has low expectations.

In his desire to become a high school basketball coach at the varsity level, Bryan Patton said he didn't want to take over a program that has low expectations.

Consider that goal accomplished as Patton, 28, was named to succeed Mary Ann Grimes as girls coach at Dublin Coffman.

Grimes coached the Shamrocks for 12 seasons and turned the program into a state-championship contender. Coffman was 25-1 each of the last two seasons and was a combined 88-9 over the last four years.

"I look forward to the pressure," said Patton, who had been the school's boys golf coach the last three seasons. "If I could dream up a situation to be a (first-time head) coach, this would be it. There's pressure to win in Dublin. That's just how it is, and that's one reason this is such a great community. Really, it's like a dream for me. The program has been so successful and I get to stay in the Dublin school district."

Patton had been with the boys basketball program for seven years, the last five as the head coach of the junior varsity after two years with the freshman team. He said coaching girls for the first time is a natural and popular question, but that he has no concerns.

"I've coached girls in shorter capacities like camps, but never for an entire season," he said. "For me, the idea of coaching boys or girls is not really that big of a deal. From a basketball sense, there's not a lot I'll change.

"How you handle individuals probably will be different, but it was different when I was coaching varsity and freshmen."

The transition process already has begun as Patton is leading open gyms and the team is set to begin play in a summer league. There also are team shootouts and camps scheduled for the summer.

"These girls are fundamentally sound," he said. "Being around them the last month or so in open gyms, I know they've learned the game the right way."

Coffman lost four starters from last season, including Division I-signees Sam MacKay and Becca Bornhorst. Andi Baylin is the only full-time starter returning, although Alex Blair moved into the lineup after an injury to senior Carly Weisenbach.

"It's great to see how excited Bryan is," athletics director Tony Pusateri said. "The girls are excited and fired up. I know he'll do a great job."

Patton is a 1998 graduate of Westerville South where he played basketball, baseball and golf. He came to Coffman at the start of the 2002-03 school year to teach social studies upon his graduation from Bowling Green. He and his wife, Erin, are expecting their first child.

Patton has resigned as golf coach and has been replaced by David Woodmansee, who was the varsity B coach.