Gary Patterson – Football Intensity Belies Unseen Kindnesses


By Bo Carter

On the surface, TCU head football coach Gary Patterson is one of the most intense football minds and mentors in the collegiate game.

Inside, Patterson has a kind heart and a wife Kelsey who shares his love for people and causes as diverse as student scholarships and shelters for underserved women.

In the past 14 years, the Gary Patterson Foundation (GPF) has assisted numerous groups such as the Giving Back Team. The team is comprised of children from Presbyterian Night Shelter, which has raised area awareness about abused and neglected animals in East Fort Worth and the downtown area.

The GPF also has worked with George C. Clarke Elementary School to help support an anti-gang campaign, a campus beautification project and a pajama drive for Safe Haven House. Twenty-two other area organizations have benefitted from the work of the foundation and its generosity.

Patterson acknowledges his desire to help youngsters and the disadvantaged, especially in the Tarrant County and metro DFW areas. While modest, he realizes the impact it has made on thousands of lives.

“We want to reinforce that it takes a team effort to make a difference,” Patterson said. “The team of volunteers and everyone who attends our annual fundraising event are part of the Foundation family.”

As for the intense Patterson, it’s hard to ignore the driving and football-savvy force that has helped the Horned Frogs win a school-record (for 15 years) 142 games since 2001 and prior to the post-2015 bowl season while also capturing 89 of 122 games in three different conferences – Conference USA, Mountain West and Big 12 – over that same era: all school records.

The TCU taskmaster came through this year with possibly his best coaching season (though he has 10-plus victories in five of the last seven years at the helm) as he guided the squad to a 10-2 pre-bowl mark and 7-2 mark in the Big 12 to tie for second place. There were 23 players on the ’15 squad who missed at least one game with injuries in an almost-surreal rash of physical maladies.

Still, Gary Patterson relies on that will to win and motivation of players (as well as his coaching/teaching skills) to roll to the best individual coaching record in TCU football annals. His penchant for calling sideline defensive signals and getting the most out of players are almost unmatched nationally.


About Author

Bo Carter, a veteran of over 45 years in college media relations, is no stranger to communications, college athletics and the business world. Carter also served as student media adviser and adjunct mass communications instructor at the University of North Texas, Texas Wesleyan University and Texas Woman’s University from 2009-15. He also has been a consultant and columnist with the National Football Foundation since Aug. 2006 after working with the Big 12 Conference for 10 years and the Texas Collegiate League in 2006. He was media relations director for the Southwest Conference from 1986-96 and worked in college sports information in multiple capacities at Mississippi State U. from 1974-86. Carter, a native of Sheffield, Ala., and 1974 cum laude graduate in classics at Vanderbilt, has been associated with conference and school athletics media relations since 1970. He was named to the College Sports Information Directors Hall of Fame in July 2005 and completed a masters degree in journalism at the University of North Texas in August 2006.