That was more than 25 years ago, when Patterson was also working toward a master's degree with the expectation of being a high school coach.
Patterson is now in his 10th season as the head coach at TCU (1-0), which plays its home opener Saturday night against Tennessee Tech (0-1). It is the first time the two teams have ever played.
Patterson left Cookeville, Tenn., after the 1985 season, his third at Tech. He had eight other coaching stops before getting to TCU as defensive coordinator in 1998, and being promoted to head coach at the end of the 2000 season.