The Rice Owls donned shoulder pads for the first time in their 2012 Fall Camp on Monday at Rice Stadium.
Darrell Patterson is back for his seventh season of at Rice and his second as Assistant Head Coach. He is in his fourth season of guiding the Owls' linebackers and his third as special teams coordinator.
He continues to spearhead Rice's recruiting efforts in Canada, where he made his name as a CFL standout for eight seasons. The Owls have signed a total of eight Canadians in the past seven years, including All C-USA OT Scott Mitchell and All C-USA Tight End Luke Willson, who was taken by Seattle in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Patterson joined the Rice coaching staff on February 20, 2007 after two seasons as the linebackers coach at Stanford.
Patterson was a standout linebacker at TCU from 1979-82 and is a member of the school's Hall of Fame. He remains the school's all-time leader in total tackles (544), unassisted tackles (286) and assisted tackles (258).
He was selected in the sixth round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, but found his way to the Canadian Football League for a seven-year career as a linebacker for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1984-88) and the Hamilton Tiger Cats (1988-90). Patterson won a Grey Cup championship with Winnipeg in 1984 and was on a runner-up in 1989 with Hamilton.
Following his playing days, Patterson began his coaching career as an intern for the British Columbia Lions in 1991. His collegiate coaching stops have included Akron (1992-94), Temple (1995-96), Kentucky (1997-2000), Arkansas State (2001), Baylor (2002), Southern Methodist (2003-04) and Stanford. He also had a coaching stint with Ottawa of the CFL in 1995.
Patterson coached linebackers during his stops at Southern Methodist, Baylor and Arkansas State. At Baylor, he coached linebacker John Garrett, who went on to sign an NFL free agent contract.
During his four seasons at Kentucky, Patterson was part of a staff that advanced to two bowl games: the Outback Bowl versus Penn State following the 1998 season and the 1999 Music City Bowl against Syracuse. While at Kentucky, Patterson coached safeties Willie Gary and Anthony Wajda to All-SEC honors, as well as Freshman All-American David Jackson.
Patterson coached defensive tackle Larry Chester during his two seasons at Temple. Chester went on to sign an NFL contract with the Indianapolis Colts. He returned to the Canadian Football League in 1995 as a defensive line and special teams coach for the Ottawa Rough Riders.
Patterson's first foray into the collegiate coaching ranks came in 1992 when he began a three-year stint at Akron (1992-94).
Patterson earned a bachelor's degree in Human Relations from TCU in 1984. He and his wife Julie, whom he met while playing professionally in Canada, have three children: a son, Michael, who was a three-year letterman and 2012 Rice graduate Rice, and two daughters, Monika and Meghan.