One year after stepping down as men’s tennis head coach at Boise State, Greg Patton -- one of the most decorated and most beloved head coaches in the history of Bronco Athletics -- is officially retiring from the university, he announced Friday.
Patton had worked within the Bronco Athletic Association for the last year. His last official day of employment with Boise State will be June 28.
Details on a retirement party, which will take place in the fall, will be released soon, a BSU news release said.
“I am incredibly lucky to have spent 42 joyous years in the playground and fountain of youth of intercollegiate tennis,” Patton said. “The sunset of my love affair with coaching is glorious with the Boise State blue and orange. I am so grateful for the visionary leadership of Bronco athletic directors Gene Bleymaier, Mark Coyle and Curt Apsey. My calling in coaching has been illuminated by the passion, love, and support from Bronco Nation, the athletic department staff, and especially by my players, assistant coaches and family -- who have proven without a doubt that mighty dreams do come true.”
“Greg Patton’s contributions to Boise State stretch far beyond impacting a tennis program,” Director of Athletics Curt Apsey said. “He has helped establish a winning culture within our department -– across all sports –- from our days in the Big Sky Conference to where we are now. He will be missed; but his impact will be felt by many more generations of Bronco student-athletes.”
During his time as head coach with the Broncos, Patton -- who was inducted into the Boise State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001 -- was named NCAA National Coach of the Year (1997) while also earning five ITA Region Coach of the Year Awards (1994, 1997, 2004, 2012 and 2014). Spanning four different conferences, Patton led the Broncos to fourteen league championships and picked up ten league Coach of the Year Awards -- at least one of each in each of the four conferences. He also led Boise State to 16 appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
When Patton concluded the 2017-18 season, his 808 victories were more than any active collegiate coach in the country, BSU officials said.
Earlier this year, Patton was inducted into the ITA Men’s Collegiate Hall of Fame. He has also been enshrined in Halls of Fame for the Idaho Tennis Association (2013), the USTA Intermountain Region (2015), and UC Irvine (2000). Credited with turning Boise State into a national tennis power, he was honored with the USTA Intermountain Tennis Association Lifetime Achievement Award and given the Keys to the City of Boise, both in 2013.
Patton is a two-time recipient of the USTA/NCAA National Community Service Award, earning the prestigious accolade in both 1997 and 2003.
Five Bronco student-athletes picked up All-America accolades under Patton’s tutelage, while five players earned six conference athlete of the year awards and 44 combined for 116 all-league accolades.
Patton originally joined Boise State in 1993 and then, following the 1998 season, accepted a position with the US Junior National Team through 2003. He helped lead the National Boys’ 14s to the World Cup Championship in his final season.
Patton would return to Boise State to continue what he began in his first stint, serving as head coach from 2003-04 through 2017-18. Prior to initially joining Boise State in 1993, Patton spent 1979-92 as the head coach at UC Irvine. He led the Anteaters to nine conference championships, was a five-time conference coach of the year, and was named the NCAA Coach of the Year (1987).
Patton coached the U.S. Junior National Team from 1984-87; grooming some of the finest players in the country, including Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, Michael Chang, David Wheaton and Malavai Washington.
His first head coaching position came at UC Santa Barbara, his alma mater, from 1976-78. He moved on to CSU Bakersfield from 1978-79, where he captured a conference title, before joining the Anteaters.