Colorado says Patton will finish season on bench

DENVER -- Ricardo Patton will continue coaching the Colorado
Buffaloes this season while a committee searches for his successor.


"Our intention is for him to complete the season,'' athletic
director Mike Bohn said Thursday.

Upset that he didn't get a contract extension before this
season, Patton issued a surprise announcement on Oct. 25 that this
season would be his last in Boulder.

Bohn said he didn't replace Patton immediately with an assistant
or another coach on an interim basis because "we wanted the least
disruption to the team as possible. We're committed to coach and
the players. And Ricardo has committed to doing all he can to move
the program forward.''

So, Patton's final year in Boulder will almost certainly be
among his worst.

The freshmen-laden Buffaloes were picked by the league's coaches
to finish last in the Big 12, and they're off to a league-worst 3-6
start so far.

For the first time in Patton's 11 seasons, they've lost four
non-conference home games, including a 72-69 defeat to Colorado
State on Saturday night that marked the Rams' first win in Boulder
since 1957.

The seven-member search group that convened this week is chaired
by Tom McGrath, a special assistant to Bohn. There's no timeline
for the committee's recommendation, although the school doesn't
want the search to drag on too long into the spring.

Bohn said dozens of prospective candidates have inquired about
the job either directly or through representatives. "The interest
has been more than we ever would have anticipated,'' he said.