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Thursday, October 11, 2007
Patterson, wife die in murder-suicide

Associated Press

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."