Former Memphis athletic director and assistant football coach Bob Patterson died Monday at the age of 84. Bob Patterson grew up in New Jersey starring in every sport at Penns Grove High School, earning 13 varsity letters in football, basketball, baseball and track. In 1950, he received the William J. Miles Award for being the Outstanding High School Athlete and also received a football scholarship to the University of Tennessee where he was part of a national champion and SEC champion team. After two seasons at UT, Patterson transferred to the University of Memphis where he lettered in football his final two years. In 1953, he was named Most Valuable Player and Outstanding Player of the Year. In 1954, he was first team A.P. Little All-American and Honorable Mention All American. Upon graduation, Patterson served in the military and played for the Eglin Air Force Base team where he was named “All Air Force” and “All Service.” Patterson enjoyed a long assistant coaching career including positions at the University of Southwestern Louisiana, Memphis State, Texas Tech and 13 years at Vanderbilt University. In 1981, he returned to the University of Memphis as assistant coach and Athletic Director. He was also a defensive line coach for the Memphis Showboats before retiring from coaching in 1986. He has continued his involvement in football with part-time pro scouting stints for the New England Patriots, New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens. Patterson’s many honors include induction to the Penns Grove Athletic Hall of Fame, All-Time Tiger Team of the University of Memphis, M Club Athletic Hall of Fame, All-American Football Foundation Little All-American and All-American Football Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award for being “The Assistant Coach Who Made a Difference.” Last month, he was honored by the Liberty Bowl with the Harry Zinn Award for his volunteer work.
Funeral arrangements are pending.