PATTERSON NAMED NEW COACH AT MOUNTAIN RIDGE
Frostburg, Maryland - When Roy DeVore took over his first head coaching job over 20 years ago at Beall High School, he had a young quarterback by the name of Ryan Patterson to help him make the transition. After DeVore announced his retirement as the head coach of Mountain Ridge, it will again be Patterson that will lead the Miners’ football team into the next era.
The former field general and long-time assistant at Beall and then Mountain Ridge was announced as the second head coach in the Miners’ history Wednesday by Athletic Director Gary Davis. He’s spent most of the last 22 seasons either playing for or coaching with DeVore, and can’t give the retiring coach enough praise upon being named has his replacement.
“It’s an honor to take over for Roy DeVore, who was not only my coach and my boss, but has been so much to me as a mentor. He’s really been like a father-figure to me to be honest with you,” said the 1996 Beall graduate.
While acknowledging that the Miners will continue to push DeVore’s motto of being fundamentally sound, one aspect that Patterson, who also played at Frostburg State University, hopes to inject into the program is his contagious personality.
“If anyone has happened to pay attention to me on the sidelines — not that they would have had any real reason to — they would have seen me going up and down the sidelines. I am a very high-energy person and I feel like I can still play, and often want to still be playing. I love this game, and that is the sort of energy that I want to put in our staff and our kids.”
While Patterson is very proud of the group of players that were already with the team — “We have great kids in the program right now. There is a nice core of returning players to build around.” — he views one of his most important jobs as increasing the program’s turnout.
“That’s job one,” the two-time All-Area defensive back noted after years of falling numbers. “The administration is on board and we’ve got to shake the tree and see what we can get to fall out. We had a few games last year where I think it came down to not having the bodies. Against Spring Mills we went into halftime with a lead and had every opportunity to win, but we really felt that we lost because we didn’t have the bodies. They dressed 70 kids and we had 22.”
The dwindling numbers have put the Miners into a stretch of four straight seasons below .500.
Regardless of the number of kids, the Mountain Ridge football program now has ground to grow and walk on after a few months in limbo. The first step toward the next season begins today.
The current offensive coordinator, Patterson has already talked to a few coaches that were on the previous staff and has a few others he plans to approach. He plans to name an official offensive coordinator at some point in the future, but says he will likely keep a large role in the play-calling process.
“We will get going on this immediately. The coaching staff will be put together and we will get the kids committed to the program as soon as possible. We will get into the weight room and do everything we can to get going in the right direction. That way when August comes around we can just keep on rolling.”