A New Sunrise For Boise State Tennis Coaching Legend Greg Patton
As a TV sports anchor I can't remember a time when Boise State tennis coach Greg Patton wasn't available for a colorful comment. Furthermore, getting an audience with the BSU tennis coaching legend was easy.
Most Boise State coaches required to be contacted via the sports information department but not coach Patton. Just show up at his door and he already had a game face on.
Now, following 22 years as one of the most decorated and most beloved head coaches in the history of Boise State Athletics, Patton is stepping down but he will remain on staff joining the Bronco Athletic Association.
Remember I said coach Patton was always good for a colorful comment? Well his retirement from coaching is no different and he was ready with some quotable comments.
“First of all, this is not even near a sunset for me, it's a radiant blue and orange sunrise with new exciting opportunities and possibilities,” Patton said. "I have such a heartfelt love affair with Boise State, the athletic department, the people who make up this community and for the tennis program - this place is every ounce of who I am. I look at this as a graduation, and now I get to play with kids my own age. I am excited to pass on the can of balls to a new coach so that this program can knock on the door of winning a national championship. “I am jumping up and down about the new challenges in helping the athletic department flourish and thrive, which is awesome because I have no clue what I would wear if I did anything anywhere else that didn't have blue and orange. I don’t need a new wardrobe, just need to replace the tennis shorts with slacks.”
See what I mean?
Patton, who was inducted into the Boise State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001, was named NCAA National Coach of the Year (1997) while also earning five ITA Region Coach of the Year Awards (1994, 1997, 2004, 2012 and 2014). Spanning four different conferences, Patton led the Broncos to 14 league championships and picked up 10 league coach of the year awards – at least one of each in each of the four conferences. He also led Boise State to 16 appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Patton concluded the 2017-18 season with 808 victories, more than any active collegiate coach in the country. In addition to the Boise State Athletics Hall of Fame induction, Patton has also been enshrined in Halls of Fame for the Idaho Tennis Association (2013), the USTA Intermountain Region (2015) and UC Irvine (2000). Credited with turning Boise State into a national tennis power, he was honored with the USTA Intermountain Tennis Association Lifetime Achievement Award and given the Keys to the City of Boise, both in 2013. Patton is also a two-time recipient of the USTA/NCAA National Community Service Award, earning the prestigious accolade in both 1997 and 2003.
Five Bronco student-athletes picked up All-America accolades under Patton’s tutelage, while five players earned six conference athlete of the year awards and 44 combined for 116 all-league accolades. Patton originally joined Boise State in 1993, and then following the 1998 season accepted a position with the US Junior National Team through 2003. He helped lead the National Boys’ 14s to the World Cup Championship in his final season. Patton would return to Boise State to continue what he began in his first stint, serving as head coach from 2003-04 through 2017-18. Prior to initially joining Boise State in 1993, Patton spent 1979-92 as the head coach at UC Irvine. He led the Anteaters to nine conference championships, was a five-time conference coach of the year and was named the NCAA Coach of the Year (1987). Patton coached the US Junior National Team from 1984-87, grooming some of the finest players in the country, including Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, Michael Chang, David Wheaton and Malavai Washington.