Memorial Service information below.
J. Allen “Pat” Patten, a three-sport star at the University of Colorado in the 1940s and a 2000 inductee into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame, died Saturday, February 24 at the age of 86.
He passed peacefully due to natural causes with his family members by his side at
Patten earned seven combined letters in cross country, wrestling and track before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1947. He earned his master’s from CU in the same field the following year. As was the case with many of his day, he started college in the early 1940s only to have it interrupted by serving a stint in the Army during World War II between 1942 and 1946.
A nationally acclaimed wrestler in both the 114- and 121-pound weight classes, he won two Mountain States Conference wrestling titles and was a two-time Rocky Mountain AAU Tournament champion. He finished third in the 1948
He went on to teach and coach at
“You bet your life wrestling is a major sport with me,” Patten told the Denver Post in 2006. “Wrestling was a driving factor in my life. You want people to become better than what they were when they started. It was a great pleasure for me to see athletes develop and become pretty good wrestlers. I didn’t try to teach them fancy stuff, I stayed with the basics and it paid off.
“The best thing that has happened to me is hearing from my wrestlers and students. It’s great to hear them say that they want me to know how much they gained from the experience they had at Boulder High.”
He also served as cross country and gymnastics coach at BHS and took over as athletic director for the Panthers in 1965. His 1951 gymnastics team won the state title, and the Pat Patten Cross Country Invitational, named for him in 1984, remains one of the biggest such races in the state.
“Pat represented a level of commitment and competitive spirit that continues to serve all those that he touched, including myself,” CU athletic director Mike Bohn said. Bohn graduated from
He also served 12 years as a member of the United States Olympic Committee, including four as financial chairman, and as president of the national AAU wrestling committee.
Patten was very devoted to CU and athletics, as he served two different times as the president of the Alumni C-Club and won CU’s prestigious Athletic Hall of Honor Award in 1989.
In addition to being inducted in the third class of CU’s Athletic Hall of Fame, he was inducted the same year into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and was brought into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame last April.
“Thinking about it chokes me up,” Patten said of his early entry into CU’s Hall, referencing that he was among the first 10 honored with induction.
One of his greatest amateur accomplishments in wrestling was to bring the Junior World Wrestling Championships to
"That's not an easy thing to put together. He was the real deal, and I really admired him," said Irv Brown, CU’s former baseball coach who knew Patten as well as anybody. "I know he never missed state wrestling, and he was a real champion for the sport."
He was born March 5, 1920 in
He is survived by his four children, Judy, Scott Steve and Jan Patten Steger, and seven grandchildren.
Initiated in 1998, there are 29 individual members and one full team that are members of CU’s Athlete Hall of Fame. Those members who preceded Patten in death were Byron White, Gil Cruter, Russell “Sox” Walseth, Harry Carlson, William “Kayo” Lam (Patten’s college wrestling coach), Frank Potts and Fred Casotti.
MEMORIAL SERVICE: The funeral service was private with the family, but a public memorial has been set for 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 10 in the East Stadium Club at Folsom Field (elevators across from Gate 9 on the concourse level).