You catch him on the sidelines, chatting up donors and fans during big basketball games.
You’ll see him in the bleachers during baseball season, catching a few rays and taking photos with Frog fans.
He’s not just a notable figure in Fort Worth either; thanks to his work on ESPN’s Coaches Film Room the last three years, he’s become nationally renowned by college football fans and pundits for his knowledge of the game and quirky sense of humor.
All of these things have served to see him rise through the ranks in the American Football Coaches Association, where he will serve as president in 2020.
Not bad for a guy that got passed over for a big job because the brass didn’t think he could “handle the big stage” or “win at the podium”.
There has been some frustration in Fort Worth; a 7-6 season followed by a losing campaign and a bowl-less 2019 will do that to fans. Patterson was ripped earlier for mentioning that not going to a bowl is less stressful for coaches (I mean, it’s true), and he’s been criticized for staying loyal to Sonny Cumbie despite withering offensive production.
So are even saying that’s he’s lost a step as a coach, and wondering if he still has it in him to handle the grind.
Well, those are questions that only GP can answer, but if you were paying attention Monday night during the ESPN Coaches Film Room broadcast, we do know one thing — the man can still break down a football game with the very best of them.
It was an interesting group that ESPN rolled out for the 2020 National Championship; long time Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy served as a moderator of sorts (with his might mullet still in tact), with newly minted Boston College front man Jeff Hafley serving as his offensive cohort. Next to Patterson was Vandy coach Derek Mason, another defensive guy — who quickly bonded with GP and enjoyed watching the TCU and OSU coaches mercilessly tease and riff off of each other. Gundy and Patterson were the clear elder statesmen, and the respect they drew from the two young guns was obvious.
Twitter was ablaze — as it usually is when Gary has a national audience — with just how good the TCU Head Coach is at this, and what a great duo GP and Gundy make.
It's making this game even better, Patterson sees everything before it happens— Brian Q (@Brian_Q14) January 14, 2020
The Coaches Film Room is one of the best ideas ESPN has ever had. Mike Gundy & Gary Patterson were fantastic.— Jeff Agrest (@jeffreya22) January 14, 2020
The right way to watch the game. Gary Patterson is putting on a clinic pic.twitter.com/dOM4RiEChK— Stephen Rumsey (@srumsey) January 14, 2020
Switched to the coaches film room. Gary Patterson is gold.— Tim Hanson (@Tim_Hans) January 14, 2020
Every year Gary Patterson owns the coaches film during championship. His knowledge of defense is crazy good.— Cody Richards (@Keiricha) January 14, 2020
Of course, the good natured ribbing between the two didn’t go unnoticed, either.
This is the funniest joke Gary Patterson has ever heard. pic.twitter.com/i7XqugIGPE— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 14, 2020
Or how great there are to listen to, together.
We need a Mike Gundy-Gary Patterson podcast— The 13th Data Point (@13thDataPt) January 14, 2020
Give me a Mike Gundy-Gary Patterson buddy cop movie right now lol— William McFadden (@willmcfadden) January 14, 2020
Mike Gundy— (╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻ 382 (@Bitterwhiteguy) January 14, 2020
True Detective, Season 4
And of course, he had a few signature GP moments as well, including this gem about a certain transfer portal QB and where he might end up:
Here's that exchange with Patterson and Gundy about D'Eriq King entering the portal. Patterson: "Guess where he's going to end up." pic.twitter.com/CQPii06JCO— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) January 14, 2020
And it wouldn’t be a Gary Patterson media session without girlfriends coming up...
Mike Gundy on LSU QB Joe Burrow: "He does just enough to frustrate you defensive guys. You think you have him and then you look up, it's a first down."— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) January 14, 2020
Gary Patterson: "It's like high school dating."
But the most authentically Gary moment was when he quoted a tweet from his wife, Kelsey, on national television:
Gary Patterson is out here reading tweets by his wife on TV and it's amazing.— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) January 14, 2020
Gundy: "Are we still live?" pic.twitter.com/gXsEEpnNon
Coach Patterson has been the head coach at TCU for 20 years. That’s more than long enough to take him for granted. Nights like Monday, where the folks that don’t get to hear from him as often as we do get exposed to his knowledge, his sense of humor, and his ridiculously amazing analogies, are a good reminder of just how lucky we are.
Hopefully, one of these years before he walks away from the game, we won’t get to hear him on the broadcast, because he will be on the sidelines.