Offensive line coach Patton leaves OU, rejoins Wilson at Indiana
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Monday, February 11, 2013
2/11/13 at 1:52 PM
NORMAN – James Patton, Oklahoma's offensive line coach the past seven seasons, will not return
for an eighth. He has left the Sooners to reunite with Kevin Wilson at Indiana.
has enjoyed a tremendous experience at Oklahoma," Patton said in an
OU-released statement. "It has truly been a pleasure to work with
(athletic director) Joe Castiglione, Coach (Bob) Stoops and the entire football
staff, as well as the many talented student-athletes that I was privileged to
coach at OU.
about the new challenge at Indiana, and am extremely grateful for being
afforded a chance to work with Oklahoma football the past seven years."
his players Monday morning that he was leaving. Later Monday, those players
used Twitter to express both appreciation and surprise over the news.
Patton is my favorite coach I've had," OU center Gabe Ikard tweeted.
"Taught me a lot about football and a lot about life. Really going to miss
miss Coach Patton and I wish him the best of luck," starting guard Bronson
Daimler, the one high school offensive lineman the Sooners signed last week,
tweeted: "Damn. Coach Pattons gone."
It is Stoops' second
staff shakeup in as many years. He cut loose secondary coach Willie Martinez a
year ago to make way for Mike Stoops' return as both secondary coach and
appreciate the contributions that James made to our program over the past seven
seasons," Bob Stoops said in OU's statement. "He was a valued member
of a staff that helped us win five Big 12 championships. We wish James and his
family the best."
Patton will assist
with the defensive line and special teams and serve as recruiting coordinator at
Indiana. He rejoins Wilson, a coach he served with at Miami (Ohio),
Northwestern and OU dating back to 1998.
"I have a
lot of trust and confidence in James Patton," Wilson said in an Indiana
press release. "James was one of the toughest players that I've ever
coached. He has been in the big time arena, is a Midwest guy and brings some
balance to our staff."
Patton joined the
Sooners in 2006 when Wilson, then OU's offensive line coach, took over for
Chuck Long as offensive coordinator.
in Norman when Wilson left to become Indiana's head coach after the 2010 season,
but he was reassigned to coach guards and centers only. Stoops promoted
on-campus recruiting coordinator Bruce Kittle to coach tackles and tight ends
at the time.
In his new role,
Patton pieced together two productive seasons from the line's interior despite constant
adversity. He lost starting center Ben Habern for half the 2011 season, but
shifted guard Ikard to center and helped guard Tyler Evans become an All-Big 12
Last season, Patton
lost both Habern and Evans to season-ending injuries before preseason camp ever
started. Ikard stayed at center and became first-team All-Big 12. Irwin took over
for Evans at right guard, joining Ikard and left guard Adam Shead to help the
Sooners average 506 yards and 40 points.
One name to have
surfaced as a potential Patton replacement is Mark Mangino, Stoops' original
offensive line coach who became the Sooners' offensive coordinator during their
2000 national championship season. Mangino left to take over Kansas after the
at KU ended in 2009 amid multiple reports of player mistreatment.
He has not
coached since, though he has been a frequent visitor to Norman in the interim. He
was on the field before the Sooners' regular season-ending victory at TCU last