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 at plus-14 and led the Pac-12 with 14 interceptions. Patterson mentored linebackers D.J. Calhoun, Salamo Fiso 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. ASU head coach Todd 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 nine 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 the school’s football history. Patterson began by coaching linebackers in 2003 and then added the title of defensive coordinator from 2006 through 2010. 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 and has spent the past three 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 A&M University-Commerce.
Patterson and his wife Melissa have three daughters and one son.
Coaching Responsibility: Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Special Teams Coach
Birthday: May 20
Hometown: Marlow, Okla.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree (East Central, '86); Master’s Degree (Texas A&M-Commerce, ’03)
Family: Wife – Melissa, Daughters – Fallon and Erin, Stepson – Kelby, Stepdaughter – Bretlie
Year at Arizona State: First
Years in College Coaching: 11
- Four-year letter winner as a defensive back at East Central (Okla.) University
2014: Arizona State (Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Special teams Coach)
2012-13: West Virginia (Defensive Coordinator/linebackers)
2012: West Virginia (Co-Defensive Coordinator/linebackers)
2011: Pitt (interim head coach)
2011: Pitt (defensive coordinator/linebackers)
2006-10: Tulsa (co-defensive coordinator/linebackers)
2003-05: Tulsa (linebackers)
2002: Allen High (assistant coach)
2000: Allen High (assistant coach)
1997-99: Ardmore High (head coach)
1995-96: Allen High (assistant coach)
1994: Edmond Santa Fe High (head coach)
1992-93: Edmond Memorial High (assistant coach)
1988-91: Altus High (assistant coach)
1986: East Central (graduate assistant)
2014: Sun Bowl
2012: BBVA Compass
2006: Armed Forces