The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 20, 2012

Norse football coach resigns


From staff reports

MIAMI, Okla. — Dale Patterson has resigned as head football coach at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M but will remain on staff as athletics director, school officials announced Tuesday.

Patterson will remain head coach for the No. 9-ranked Golden Norsemen’s game against No. 15 College of DuPage (Ill.) on Dec. 2 in the Citizens Bank Bowl at Carnie Smith Stadium in Pittsburg, Kan.

“This was a very difficult decision to make, but after 43 years of coaching it was a decision that I feel is best for me and my family,” Patterson said in a press release. “The hardest part was telling my players and coaches. I am very proud of these young men, and they have worked so hard to achieve so much over a short amount of time. I am a coach at heart and will continue to be a part of NEO athletics as I will remain on staff as the AD.”

Patterson returned to Red Robertson Field sideline in 2011 with a goal to turn the NEO football program around. He accomplished that goal in just two seasons. This year Patterson led the Golden Norsemen to a 9-2 season and the Southwest Junior College Football Conference regular-season championship. NEO lost to Navarro in the league playoffs championship game.

The Norse are making their first bowl appearance since 2005.

“Coach Patterson has accomplished exactly what I asked him to do 18 months ago when we visited about his return to coach the NEO football team — restore the great tradition of Golden Norsemen football,” NEO president Dr. Jeff Hale said. “He’s been a winner at every level during his career and has re-established NEO as a national title contender.

“I am thrilled that these young men got the opportunity to learn and play under Coach P. this year. He and I will work closely together as we seek to find a new head coach who can continue the momentum that he has built.”