In his first high school head-coaching assignment, longtime assistant Hank Patterson is hoping to follow his longstanding playbook and rejuvenate the Grove City Christian School football program.
Patterson, 65, replaces B.J. Queen, who stepped down to become the coach at Beechcroft after one season in which the Eagles finished 1-9.
Patterson was the offensive coordinator at Northland last season. Before that, he held that role at Whetstone from 2011-15 and at Columbus West from 2006-11.
After beginning his coaching career at Marion-Franklin in 1990, he served as an assistant at Mifflin, Eastmoor Academy, Whetstone and Walnut Ridge from 1992-2005.
“Most of these times when I went to these places they were programs under the weather and I’ve been fortunate to change that,” Patterson said. “I’m blessed. … I’ve been able to change the cultures and hopefully I can do that at Grove City Christian in a different manner being the head guy.”
Patterson is known for his offensive schemes and has coached several successful players, including Ramroth Finnegan, a 2014 Whetstone graduate. Finnegan had back-to-back seasons of more than 2,000 yards passing, including as a senior when he had 24 touchdowns and six interceptions while making first-team all-district in Division II.
Finnegan is a redshirt sophomore at Mercyhurst.
“Coach Patterson is known for his innovative offenses and is often referenced by his coaching peers and local media as the ‘quarterback whisperer’ due to his development of many athletes at the quarterback position over his coaching career,” athletics director Matt Blandin said. “Despite all his accomplishments and stats throughout his coaching career, he is known for his desire to mentor young men both on and off the football field.”
Patterson has earned several honors during his career, including being the first assistant coach elected president of the Columbus City League Football Coaches Association, serving from 2001-05 in a role normally reserved for head coaches.
Since 2003, Patterson has been the head coach of the Columbus Comets, a Women’s Football Alliance professional team that plays during the spring. He has an overall record of 72-35, which includes runner-up finishes in the national championship game in 2007 and 2010.
The Comets play their home games at Grove City Christian.