For 11 years at the helm of the
On October 25, 2006 at Basketball Media Day, Coach Patton announced the 2006-07 season would be his last season of coaching and he would not seek nor accept an extension of his contract.
During his tenure, Patton achieved a 184-160 record, earned four NIT appearances, two NCAA Tournaments and three 20-win seasons. His 184 wins are the second most in school history and during conference play, recorded an 80-107 mark.
Coming to CU as an assistant coach in 1993, Patton moved up the
Patton was named interim head coach on Jan. 16, 1996, when he replaced Joe Harrington. Patton’s position as the Buffs interim coach didn’t last long as he was promoted to head coach less than two month’s later on March 5 just before the 1996 Big Eight conference tournament.
Success was quick to come to CU as in Patton’s first full season as head coach (1996-97) when he led to Buffaloes to their first NCAA Tournament berth since 1969. The team finished second in the Big 12 Conference, the highest finish since a 1972-73 second-place tie, and racked up the most victories in program history with 22. On the national level, the Buffs broke into the rankings for the first time in a quarter of a century. Patton was named the West Region Coach of the Year for his leadership as selected by the Basketball Times.
Another post-season berth followed in 2003-04 with a NIT berth after posting an 18-11 campaign and winning 10 conference games, CU’s most since 1996-97. In fact, during the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons when the Buffaloes won 18 games, CU also earned a pair of NIT berths. It marked the first time that CU posted back-to-back winning seasons since the 1979-80 and 1980-81 seasons.
In the 105-year history of
Patton’s success did not go unnoticed as the Big 12 Conference gave him the nod as the head coach of the Big 12 All-Star Team during the summer of 2000 where he coached the student-athletes on a tour of
Patton has also seen exciting finishes to his ceremonial wins. In 2002-03, he earned his 125th career win with an exciting buzzer-beater at the Big 12 Tournament in
When CU defeated
Patton’s 60th victory as a head coach came on Nov. 25, 1999. That win came in just his 108th game at the helm of the program, third fastest of any coach in
While his on the court commitment lifts him to the top of
“I stress the importance of good character and determination in our young people,” Patton said. “Those are the two qualities I think we should all have. We start there first. We’re laying a foundation for the future. If these kids can be successful and productive in their lives, then I’ve done my job.”
Patton’s dedication to the more personal side of each athlete has led him to assume the role of a teacher, guiding his players in their personal development. Each athlete is required to take an etiquette class prior to the season’s start. Players also attend several different denominations of churches and the Denver County Jail.
“I want them to be good people and to be ready to be successful members of society,” Patton said. “I also want them to get a good look at where they do not want to end up.”
Away from the court, Patton is always on the job and has made promoting
“There’s no place too small for me to go and invite folks to be a part of our program,” Patton said. “I want everyone to feel welcome, to feel they can be a part of our success. I want the community to get to know our team on a personal basis. I want our players visiting schools, children’s hospitals and service clubs. If we teach the kids to give of themselves, they’ll find that they get so much in return.”
Before assuming the head coaching title, Patton had two-plus seasons as a
As a Buffs assistant, Patton was a key to the recruitment of
Before heading west to Boulder, Patton served two seasons (1991-93) as an assistant to Frankie Allen at Tennessee State, where he was instrumental in recruiting another future star, Carlos Rogers, the No. 10 pick in the 1994 NBA draft. Prior to that, Patton was an assistant at Arkansas-Little Rock for one season, 1990-91, and Middle Tennessee State from 1988-90. Patton was a member of the coaching staffs at both
Before dedicating his life to coaching, Patton worked as a studio cameraman from 1980-85 at
Patton, 48, continues to live an active lifestyle as an avid golfer and holds a fifth degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He and wife Jennifer have two sons, Ricardo Jr. (18) and Michael (17).
The Patton File
Full Name: Ricardo Maurice Patton
Family: Wife Jennifer, sons Ricardo, Jr. and Michael
Birthdate: Oct. 23, 1958
High School: Hume Fogg H.S. (
Head Coach, University of Colorado
Assistant Coach, University of Colorado
Assistant Coach, Tennessee State
Assistant Coach, Arkansas-Little Rock
Assistant Coach, Middle Tennessee State
Head Coach, Hillwood High School
Head Coach, Two Rivers Middle School