UNCG Director of Athletics Kim Record announced the hiring of coaching veteran Trina Patterson as women’s basketball head coach Sunday. Patterson brings 17-years of head coaching experience at the NCAA Division I level to the Spartans and joins UNCG after spending the last three years as the top assistant at Old Dominion. Additionally, she has been part of USA Basketball as an assistant coach on two different occasions in her career.
“Coach Patterson brings a tremendous amount of experience to the Spartan program,” Record said. “Her coaching journey is one of the things that made her such an attractive candidate. She has had success at all levels as a head coach, an assistant coach and even with the national team program. Our team, alumni and fans will love her passion and sense of urgency.”
Patterson, a native of Newport News, Va., joins the Spartans after spending the last three years on the staff at Old Dominion for coach Karen Barefoot. During her time at ODU, the Lady Monarchs posted three straight appearances in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT), including second round showings the past two years. She helped ODU record 56 wins over the past three seasons, including a 21-win campaign in 2014-15.
“I am honored to be named the women’s basketball coach at UNCG,” Patterson said. “I would like to thank Chancellor Dr. Franklin Gilliam Jr., Kim Record and all the members of the search committee for this opportunity. Throughout the interview process, it was clear that this administration is passionate about helping the women’s basketball program succeed at the highest level. I am excited about the future of UNCG women’s basketball. This program has a great tradition and we will build upon that and create a winning culture. My family and I are excited to become a part of the UNCG family.”
Patterson has helped Old Dominion bring in recruiting classes ranked in the top 50 in the nation the last two seasons. During her time she has helped the Lady Monarchs boast six All-Conference honorees, including Jennie Simms. Simms was named the 2015 C-USA Newcomer of the Year and is a two-time Conference USA All-Conference First Team selection. Patterson’s leadership extended far beyond the basketball court as well, as six Lady Monarchs were named to the C-USA All-Academic Team and two received C-USA Academic Medals.
Old Dominion was a defensive force in Conference USA during Patterson’s time in Norfolk. The Lady Monarchs finished the season ranked in the top five in six defensive categories, including topping the league in rebounding margin (+6.7) and ranking second in field-goal percentage defense (.397).
“I want to thank Coach Patterson for all of her hard work and the many contributions she made to the women’s basketball program during the past three years,” said head coach Karen Barefoot. “UNCG is getting, not only a great coach, but an even better person and she will be missed here at Old Dominion. I, my entire staff and the players wish nothing but the best for her and her family.”
Prior to Old Dominion, Patterson spent two seasons working for Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer at Stanford, working primarily with the Cardinal frontcourt and recruiting efforts. During that span Stanford racked up a 68-5 record, capturing the Pac-12 double (conference regular-season and tournament titles) each season and reached its fifth straight Final Four in 2012.
“Trina is an exceptional basketball coach and an even better person,” VanDerveer said. “I am really thrilled for her to have the opportunity to lead the program at UNCG. She is a great X and O coach, an exceptional recruiter and brings a ton of experience to the table. Everyone at UNCG will love working with her and her players will be very happy to have her as a Spartan. I can’t say enough good things about Trina as a coach, and more importantly as a person.”
Patterson’s work with Stanford’s post players both seasons led to the Ogwumike sisters, Nnemkadi and Chiney, being named to the WBCA Coaches’ All-America Team in 2012, only the second time that Stanford had landed two players to the prestigious team, and Chiney earning her second straight nod in 2013. Both sisters were named to the Associated Press All-America First Team during this time as Nnemkadi earned the honor in 2012 and Chiney in 2013.
“Coach Patterson is an exceptional leader and is the quintessential competitor,” Chiney Ogwumike said. “She is a coach that cares about her players on and off the court. She is dedicated to improving players’ skills sets and bringing players together in a manner that breeds success. She made me into the player and leader that I am today. UNCG is not only getting a great coach, but getting a great person.”
Prior to arriving at Stanford, Patterson served as head coach at University at Albany from 2002-10. She also served two prior head-coaching tenures — University of Maryland Eastern Shore (1999-2000) and the College of William & Mary (1991-99). She was named conference coach of the year on two different occasions during her 17-year career as leader of a program, earnings honors at both William & Mary and Albany.
During her 17-year head coaching career, Patterson guided 18 players to America East and Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) conference honors, among those a conference rookie of the year, and members of all-conference, all-rookie, all-defensive, all-academic and all-tournament teams.
At Patterson’s first head coaching stop at the College of William & Mary in 1991, she took over a program that had not experienced a winning season at the Division I level. In her second year at the helm, Patterson guided the Tribe to the championship game of the 1993 CAA Tournament, and in her third season led the team to a 20-8 record and a third-place finish in the conference standings. For her efforts, Patterson was named 1993-94 CAA Coach of the Year.
During her eight-year stay at Albany, Patterson was named America East Coach of the Year in 2007-08 after guiding the Great Danes to a school-record 10 wins in conference play. Albany would go on to reach the semifinals of the America East Tournament.
As a player, Patterson earned four varsity letters and was a member of four consecutive NCAA Tournament teams under head coach Debbie Ryan at Virginia from 1983-87. During her four years in Charlottesville, the Cavaliers went 95-23, winning 20-plus games each season and capturing three Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season titles. As a team captain during her senior season (1986-87), Patterson helped Virginia post a 26-5 record and reach the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament.
Patterson has also spent time with USA Basketball in both coaching and administrative roles. Her first USA Basketball coaching stint was in 1998, as she served on Nell Fortner’s staff for the R. William Jones Cup squad that went 5-0 and captured the gold medal. This team included future Olympians Tamika Catchings and Becky Harmon. She would next reunite with Ryan, serving on Ryan’s staff as an assistant coach with the 2003 USA Basketball Pan-American Games Team that won the silver medal.
Patterson earned a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and communication studies from the University of Virginia in 1987. She completed a master’s degree in human resource management from National University in 2002.
Patterson and her husband Carl are the parents of three sons, Carl Jr. (CJ), Matthew, and Joshua.DI Head Coach UNCG