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UConn Football: Assistant Head Coach Don Patterson Retiring

The 1973 Army graduate is retiring after 37 seasons as a college coach.

Ian Bethune - The UConn Blog

Assistant head football coach Don Patterson officially announced his retirement Friday afternoon. Patterson has coached Division 1 football for 37 seasons and has been involved in 425 football games as a college football coach.

Though he is a cancer survivor, his retirement had nothing to do with health.

Don Patterson came to Connecticut to coach under Bob Diaco, who played for him while Patterson was on Hayden Fry's staff at Iowa. During his two-year tenure in Storrs he coached quarterbacks and tight ends, helping guide UConn to their first bowl appearance since the 2010-2011 season.

"It has been my privilege to represent the University of Connecticut these past two years," said Patterson in a press release from the university, "I leave Storrs with the satisfaction of knowing that UConn football is now in a much better place than when we first arrived. The players and coaches at UConn will always have a special place in our hearts, and we will remain loyal Husky fans for the rest of our days."

Coach Patterson's coaching career is quite impressive. He started under Fry at Iowa. The Hawkeyes reached 14 bowls including 3 Rose Bowls during his tenure. He also coached some tremendous players, including two-time All Big-Ten selction Bob Diaco.

After twenty seasons on the Hawkeye staff, Patterson became head football coach at Western Illinois in 1999. There he guided the Fighting Leathernecks to three NCAA playoff berths and a no. 1 national ranking. Diaco coached running backs and special teams there under Patterson from 1999-2000.

After leaving Western Illinois in 2009, coach Patterson found a job as an assistant for the University at Buffalo, where he helped bring mold quarterback Joe Licata into a solid starter. Three seasons later he joined Diaco at UConn.

It is uncertain as to how Diaco plans on filling the void left in the staff.