GENOA — In his first opportunity as a head football coach, Paul Patterson could not have walked into a much better situation than what he’s found at Genoa.
The Comets have posted a 68-2 record over the last seven regular seasons, won six league championships (46-1 league record), and made seven straight playoff appearances (77-9 overall) under prior coaches Mike Vicars (2007-2011) and Tim Spiess (2012-13).
“I’m inheriting a program and a group of kids that play hard and know how to win,” Patterson said. “Now it’s my job to make sure we keep rolling with it.”
“I’m excited because I’m coming into a program that has a winning tradition, and into a community that supports its football team. It’s great to come into a situation like this.”
Patterson, 41, a 1991 graduate of Canton Central Catholic and 1996 graduate of Malone College, was hired as an assistant football coach last fall when he arrived as a high school mathematics teacher. He is currently the boys and girls track and field head coach.
In his one season as receivers and defensive backs coach, Patterson got a first-hand look at the highly successful offensive and defensive schemes that Vicars and Spiess had installed.
He had spent 10 seasons as an assistant under Greg Dempsey at Central Catholic, a span that included two Division II state championships (2005, 2012).
Patterson plans to take parts of both coaching philosophies into his new position.
“That was huge to see the differences between Central Catholic and Genoa,” Patterson said. “To see Genoa’s pathway to success. Being there, getting to know the kids, and seeing how hard they played, and seeing some of the philosophies that coach Vicars and coach Spiess brought to the program helped me formulate my approach.
“Working at two successful programs, I’ve been able to form my own philosophy by taking things from both of them.”
Patterson came to Toledo in 2003 to assume the boys head basketball coaching position at Central, a post he held for five seasons along with his teaching job. Prior to Central he was a teacher and an assistant football and basketball coach at Chagrin Falls Kenston.
“He’s got a lot of passion for the position,” Genoa athletic director Mike Thomas said. “With him being here last year as an assistant, he knows what we’ve done. That’s going to be a plus.
“Also, coming from the Central Catholic organization, he knows what it takes to get to the top and how to run things and get there. Overall, he’s a great guy and he’s involved with the kids.”
Thomas said Patterson’s past credentials and his performance at Genoa stood out in the interview process and made him an easy choice to succeed Spiess, who has joined Vicars’ staff as an assistant coach at Swanton.