RUSTON, La. -- Former Louisiana Tech baseball coach Pat
Patterson, who led the Bulldogs to seven NCAA tournament
appearances, died Thursday after fatally shooting his ailing wife
and then himself, authorities said.
The shootings occurred about 7:15 a.m. at an assisted-living
facility just outside of Ruston, said Lincoln Parish Sheriff Mike
Stone. Patterson's 71-year-old wife, Glenda, who had been suffering
from Alzheimer's, had been a resident of the home for about a
month, Stone said.
"It's a real sad day in Lincoln Parish," Stone said.
Patterson, who was 73, coached baseball at Louisiana Tech from
1968 to 1990 and retired with a record of 741-462. He also served
as an assistant football coach from 1967 to 1978, returning for one
game as interim head coach in 1979 when the Bulldogs defeated
archrival Louisiana-Monroe 13-10.
Known as "Gravy" by fans, Patterson recorded 18 winning
baseball seasons and posted 40-win seasons five times while nabbing
conference coach of the year honors seven times.
"In my eyes, Gravy is Louisiana Tech baseball," said current
baseball coach Wade Simoneaux. "Anytime anybody mentions Louisiana
Tech baseball, his name always comes up. He set the bar so high
that it's not even attainable to do what he did here. He was an
idol to me."
After his retirement from coaching, Patterson served for several
years as Louisiana Tech's associate athletic director, overseeing
athletic eligibility and NCAA compliance.
Patterson graduated in 1958 from Louisiana Tech, where he earned
four football letters and two baseball letters. He coached at
Ouachita Parish High School in the Monroe area and Shreveport's
Byrd High School before joining Louisiana Tech in 1967.
"Coach Patterson left an unforgettable mark on his players and
those of us who were fortunate to know him," said Louisiana Tech
athletic director Jim Oakes. "This loss is very hard because Coach
Patterson was beloved by everyone who knew him."