Long-time coaching veteran Keith Patterson joined the Sun Devil coaching
staff in 2014 as defensive coordinator, linebackers and defensive special
teams coach. Patterson brings a wealth of defensive knowledge to ASU
where head coach Todd Graham places a lot of emphasis on the defensive
side of the football.
Under the direction of Patterson, the 2014 Sun Devil defense
finished sixth in the nation in turnover margin (+14) and led the
Pac-12 with 14 interceptions. Patterson mentored linebackers D.J.
Calhoun, Salamo Fiso (2016 Chuck Bednarik Award preseason watch
list) and Laiu Moeakiola to third-team All-Pac-12 honors and Calhoun
was named a freshman All-American. Patterson’s linebacker group
combined for 16 of the teams 39 sacks and also produced three of
the team’s top five tacklers.
Patterson came to ASU from West Virginia University, where he
served as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach in 2013 and as
the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach in 2012. Graham and
Patterson have a professional and personal relationship that goes back to
East Central University where they were college roommates.
Patterson, who has coached in 10 college bowl games, mentored
West Virginia linebacker Isaiah Bruce, who was named to three
freshman All-America teams and two All-Big 12 teams in 2012 after
ranking second on the team in tackles with 94, fourth in tackles for
loss with 6.5 and first on the team in fumbles recovered with two. He
also tied for the team lead in interceptions.
In 2011 Patterson served as Graham’s defensive coordinator and
linebackers coach at the University of Pittsburgh. That Pitt defense
was ranked No. 3 nationally in quarterback sacks (3.31), tied for No.
12 in tackles for loss (98), No. 14 in defensive third-down efficiency
(32.98), No. 21 in rushing defense (116.9), No. 35 in total defense
(350.62) and No. 38 in scoring defense (22.4). The defense placed
five players on the All-Big East Team and featured one All-American.
Patterson served as the interim head coach for the BBVA Compass
Bowl against SMU when Graham left for Arizona State.
Patterson coached at the University of Tulsa from 2003
until 2010, where he tutored some of the most productive and
accomplished defenders in school history. Patterson began by
coaching linebackers in 2003 and then added the title of defensive
coordinator from 2006-10. In 2010, he helped mold a defense that
led the country in interceptions (24) and ranked third in turnovers
gained (36). Facing the nation’s top passing offense in Hawai’i in
the 2010 Hawai’i Bowl, Tulsa’s defense forced five interceptions and
six total turnovers en route to a victory over the No. 24 Rainbows.
The win was the Golden Hurricane’s 36th over a four-year span and
marked the program’s third consecutive bowl triumph. His star pupils
included first-team All-Conference USA performers Nick Bunting,
Chris Chamberlain and Nelson Coleman. The three rank among the
top 10 tacklers in school history, a list topped by Coleman who had
an impressive 413 career stops. Bunting finished his career as one
of the most decorated linebackers ever at Tulsa. He was named
the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year in 2006 and the
Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Newcomer of the Year in 2003.
Chamberlain, who finished fifth in Tulsa history with 352 tackles, was
drafted by St. Louis in 2008. He would go on to spent four seasons
with the Rams.
Prior to his college coaching experience Patterson spent 16
years coaching high school football in Oklahoma and Texas. He spent
two years (2000 and ‘02) with Graham as linebackers, defensive
backs and special teams coach at Allen (Texas) High School. He also
coached at Allen High School from 1995-96. Before that, he was the
head football coach at Ardmore (Okla.) High School for three seasons
(1997-99). At Ardmore, Patterson led his team to the District 5A-1
Championship in 1999, while earning district coach of the year
honors. In 1994, Patterson was the head coach at Edmond Santa Fe
(Okla.) High School. Prior to that, he served as defensive secondary
coach at Edmond Memorial High School for two seasons (1992-93).
He began his high school coaching career in 1988 at Altus (Okla.)
High School, where he coached the outside linebackers and defensive
backs for four years. He helped lead Altus to a state runner-up finish
in Class 4A, while helping Edmond Memorial to a Class 6A runner-up
finish in 1993.
Patterson earned his bachelor’s degree in health, physical
education and recreation from East Central (Okla.) University in 1986.
He was a four-year letterman at defensive back for ECU and later
served his alma mater as a graduate assistant coach. He earned his
master’s degree in kinesiology and sport studies in 2003 from Texas
Patterson and his wife Melissa have three daughters and
D E F E N S I V E C O O R D I N A T O R
LINEBACKERS/DEFENSIVE SPECIAL TEAMS
SUN DEVIL FOOTBALL 2016
COACHES & STAFF