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Dorrell Adds Patterson To Coaching Staff

Jan 9, 2022

BOULDER — University of Colorado head football coach Karl Dorrell announced on Sunday that he has added Clay Patterson to his staff as tight ends/passing game coordinator.
As with all hires of this nature, it is subject to the approval of CU's Board of Regents.
Patterson, 39, is joining the CU staff from the University of Minnesota, where he coached the tight ends the past four seasons.  The last two years he worked under Mike Sanford, who Dorrell named as CU's new offensive coordinator on Dec. 17.  The versatile Gopher tight ends played a vital role in Minnesota's offense, from robust blocking in the running game to thriving when their number was called in the passing game.

"Before accepting the position at Minnesota, Clay's background and experience was well documented in highly productive offenses," Dorrell said.  "His knowledge with passing game concepts over his career will be a big benefit for us as we build a successful offense here at Colorado."
"My wife Ashley and I are very thankful for Karl Dorrell and Rick George for the opportunity to come to Boulder and coach at the University of Colorado," Patterson said.  "Coach Dorrell is an outstanding football coach and man – I am very excited to work for and learn from him.  When the opportunity to continue to work with Mike Sanford (CU's new offensive coordinator) and build an offense together came up, I was thrilled.  Mike is great to work with and he has an excellent offensive mind." 
Dorrell also confirmed Wednesday that Bryan Cook (tight ends), Danny Langsdorf (quarterbacks) and Brian Michalowski (outside linebackers) have not been retained.  He still needs to complete one final hire to fill out his full-time staff. 

A Closer Look at Clay Patterson
This past season, he coached Ko Kieft, who was one of the top-rated tight ends by Pro Football Focus, as he was one of three in the nation that earned 80-plus grades both as a receiver and run-blocker.  In 2020, behind the offensive line and UM's bruising tight ends, Mohamed Ibrahim set school records in rushing yards per game (153.7), consecutive 100-yard games (8) and touchdowns in consecutive games (8).  In 2019, Minnesota's tight ends excelled under Patterson as they were part of one of the most prolific offenses in school history.  The Gophers amassed 5,616 yards of total offense (the school's third-most ever), threw for a school record 3,293 yards and scored their second-most points (443) in the modern era. 
During Patterson's time on the Minnesota staff, the Gophers were 30-16 and were undefeated in three bowl games, winning the 2018 Quick Lane over Georgia Tech, the 2020 Outback over Auburn and the 2021 Guaranteed Rate over West Virginia.
Patterson took his first FBS position at Minnesota after serving as the head coach at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M for the 2016 and 2017 seasons, where he led the Norsemen to a 14-8 record.  After going 5-5 in his first season, NO A&M went 9-3 and claimed its first Southwest Junior College Football Conference (SWJCFC) title since 2003, along with playing in its first bowl game since 2012.  Patterson was named as the conference's coach of the years, as his team was an offensive powerhouse in averaging 524.5 yards per game (253.8 rushing, 270.6 passing) and 36.2 points per game.
He had previously spent three years (2013-15) as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas.  He helped coach the team to five SWJCFC championships (three regular season and two playoff crowns), in addition to a pair of Heart of Texas Bowl championships.  In 2015, his offense broke the all-time yards per game record at any level of football, averaging an astounding 656.1 yards per game.  His 2014 team set two other National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) records for total plays and yards in a single season (938 and 7,778, respectively).  In 35 games on the Trinity staff (30-5 record), his offenses scored 50 or more points 23 times (13 60-plus and eight of 70 or more), overall averaging 54 points and 604 yards per game.
Patterson was the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M University-Kingsville for six seasons (2007-12) before heading to Trinity Valley. His Javelina offense broke 28 individual and 17 team passing records, as it claimed a share of the Lone Star Conference championship in 2009 and made two playoff appearances.  He had arrived at Kingsville after coaching the receivers for one year (2006) at Tarleton State.
As a player, he was a tight end at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M for the 1999 and 2000 seasons before finishing his career at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, where he played wide receiver the following two seasons and earned his bachelor's degree in Health, Human Performance and Recreation in 2003.  He began his coaching career later that year as the Savage Storm's wide receiver coach, where he spent three seasons while earning his master's degree in Education Technology in 2005.

A native of Morris, Okla., he lettered in football and basketball at Morris High School.  He is married to the former Ashley Holt.


 2003-05  Southeastern Oklahoma  Wide Receivers
 2006  Tarleton State  Wide Receivers
 2007-12  Texas A&M-Kingsville  Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
 2013-15  Trinity Valley CC  Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
 2016-17  Northeastern Oklahoma A&M  Head Coach
 2018-21  Minnesota  Tight Ends