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Former Colorado coach Ricardo Patton headed to the HS ranks


Earlier today, Todd Lickliter was officially named the head coach at Marian University, an NAIA program that is a long way from the programs he ran back in the 2000’s at Butler and Iowa.

Lickliter isn’t the only former high-major head coach that has taken a new job off the beaten path.

15 years ago, after Ricardo Patton’s first year as the head coach at Colorado, he was a candidate to replace Larry Finch as the head coach of the Memphis Tigers. Earlier today, Patton accepted the job to coach Central High in Memphis, a program that reached their first state tournament in 30 years last season.

A Nashville native and a Belmont alum, Patton started his coaching career in high school before landing an assistant’s position with Middle Tennessee State in 1987. Nine years and four jobs later, Patton was a head coach in the Big 12. He was eventually fired after the 2007 season, when he immediately took over at Northern Illinois. But Patton’s success at NIU was, frankly, non-existent. His team never won more than 10 games in his four seasons at the helm and his tenure is best known for his refusal to grant Sean Kowal a transfer release.

Patton spent last season as an assistant coach at Maryland-Eastern Shore.

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Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.