LOGAN, Utah -
Keith Patterson was destined to be a coach. He knew that at an early age and embraced it. The former defensive back at East Central University in Ada, Okla., has been in the coaching business for more than 30 years now and is heading into his third month on the job at Utah State.
Patterson was officially announced as the Aggies’ defensive coordinator/safeties coach on Jan. 30. What he brought with him to Logan was 15 years of collegiate coaching experience, including 11 seasons as a defensive coordinator.
Following one of the team’s practices earlier this week, we caught up with Patterson for a Q&A.
Q: How have your first few months on the job gone?
Patterson: “It’s been a blur, for sure, but it’s been good. The players have been great and the coaching staff is great. The culture that has been established here is, obviously, in a good place. So, I’ve been tremendously pleased and satisfied with what has gone on to this point.”
Q: Have any of the defensive players stood out to you yet?
Patterson: “It has been somebody different every day. To me, we have tried to put a focus on the entire unit, trying to create player accountability and hold each player accountable for their own performance every day – just every day continue to raise the standard of what we expect from them. We saw tremendous strides last week, but it is a process. It has been good, though. I have been very satisfied with where we are. By no stretch are we where we want to be, but our players have the right mindset.”
Q: What is your defensive philosophy?
Patterson: “In this day and age, you have got to be multiple and you have to be able to pressure and move quarterbacks off the spot, and not let them throw on timing – you have to attack. But, I have always been a firm believer in being able to play sound, fundamental football, disciplined football, hard-nosed, tough, all those things. You’ll see the character in each one of our players come out and the way we play, you’re going to be pleased with the way our players run to the football and the effort in which they play with. When people come to our games, they are going to see an aggressive style of defense.”
Q: What do you see when you evaluate the defense’s current personnel?
Patterson: “I feel good about our personnel. Obviously, we have a lot of young men who have a lot of playing time under their belt. The key has just been getting people in the right position and making sure that we get good, quality reps. I am all about being held accountable and that has got to be the goal. We want to be the best in our division and to be the best in our conference, and continue to raise the standard each and every day to reach that goal.”
Q: What got you into coaching?
Patterson: “This is my 32nd or 33rd year of coaching. My father was a coach and my brother was a coach. I grew up in an athletic family, and it’s just in my blood. My father was a high school hall of fame coach in Oklahoma. It’s just who I am. It’s not what I do, it’s who I am.”
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