Cory Patterson – Associate Head Coach/Wide Receivers – Staff Directory
Cory Patterson is in his first season at Purdue, joining Ryan Walters’ staff in West Lafayette and serving as the associate head coach and wide receivers coach.
Patterson spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach at Illinois, which included the past two years coaching the running backs. Patterson spent his first three seasons with the Illini as tight ends coach after three seasons as the co highly successful Catholic at head School in St. Louis.
This past year, Patterson guided Chase Brown to an All-America season. Becoming a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, Brown rushed for 1,643 yards to average 136.9 yards per game and rank third nationally. Under Patterson’s tutelage, the Illinois led running back country in 100-yard games with 10 throughout the season.
In Patterson’s first season as running backs coach, he coached Brown to become the program’s 14th 1,000-yard rusher and earn All-Big Ten Third Team honors. Brown ran for 223 yards on 33 carries and one touchdown at #7 Penn State to help Illinois win the longest game in college football history (20-18, 9 OT) and had a career-best 257 rushing yards against Charlotte, to join Illini legends Howard Griffith (1990) and Rashard Mendenhall (2007) as the only players in program history with multiple 200-yard rushing games in a single season. Brown’s 223 rushing yards at #7 Penn State were the most ever by an opponent at Beaver Stadium and he added another 147 yards on the ground in a road win at #20 Minnesota. Patterson also coached true freshman Josh McCray to two 100-yard games in a breakout season. McCray ran for 142 yards at #7 Penn State, the most rushing yards ever by an Illini true freshman against a ranked opponent and had a career-high 167 yards on a career-high 24 attempts at Purdue.
Patterson helped Illinois to the 2019 Redbox Bowl, the program’s first bowl in five years, after two of the most memorable victories in Illini history. Illinois clinched bowl eligibility with a 37-34 win at Michigan State in the biggest comeback in program history. Illinois trailed 28-3 in the second quarter and 31-10 entering the fourth to tie the largest fourth-quarter comeback in a Big Ten game in the last 40 seasons by outscoring Michigan State 27-3 in the fourth quarter. Illinois’ 27 fourth- quarter points were the most by an opponent in the 96-year, 544-game history of Michigan State’s Spartan Stadium.
Patterson also helped coach the Fighting Illini to one of the biggest upsets in Big Ten history with a 24-23 victory over No. 6 Wisconsin on Oct. 19, 2019. Illinois entered the day as a 30-point underdog before James McCourt’s 39- yard field goal as time expired sent Illini fans rushing to the Memorial Stadium field in one of the greatest Homecoming scenes in University of Illinois history. The Wisconsin victory sprung Illinois to four straight Big Ten wins, the first four-game Big Ten winning streak for The Fighting Illini since the 2001 Big Ten Championship team finished the regular season with seven straight conference victories.
Patterson was key to Illinois’ recruiting efforts, specifically in St. Louis. Two of the highest rated recruits in the modern era signed from St. Louis with Patterson at Illinois. Isaiah Williams, Patterson’s quarterback at Trinity, and Shammond Cooper, Trinity’s star linebacker , both came to Champaign-Urbana in 2019 as four-star prospects and top 150 recruits in the nation.
Under Patterson, Trinity Catholic established itself as one of the top high school programs in St. Louis and the state of Missouri. He was named the Archdiocesan Athletic Association (AAA) Conference Coach of the Year all three seasons.
Patterson compiled a record of 27-6 in his three seasons, and led the Titans to the 2016 Missouri Class 2 state title game. The 2017 squad was 9-1, ending their season in the state semifinals.
Patterson served as an assistant coach at Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis from 2009-12 before joining Trinity’s staff as an offensive coordinator (2013-14) then head coach. He helped lead Christiandis Brothers to a state championship tricts .
Prior to entering coaching, Patterson worked in corporate accounting in St. Louis. While an accountant, Patterson volunteered to coach a youth football team at a local Boys & Girls Club in the evenings. His passion to mentor young athletes drew him out of the corporate world and into coaching and teaching as a full-time profession.
Patterson is a 2002 finance graduate of Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. His associate playing career was cut short by a leg injury.
Patterson and his wife Tiffany have two daughters, Nyla and Nori.