Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Tommie Patterson is on the move. Again.
Patterson, the former head boys basketball coach at Paterson Catholic and Paterson Eastside, is poised to accept the coaching vacancy at Clifton High School.
“I’m just excited to have the opportunity to be the head coach at Clifton,” said Patterson, who will remain a special education teacher at Eastside. “I’m glad that they’re giving me the opportunity.”
Patterson, 38, spent last season as the first assistant under Eastside head coach Donald Davis. The Ghosts reached the Passaic County championship game, falling to Paterson Catholic, but went on to win the North 1, Group 4 sectional title.
The year before, Patterson was the head coach at Eastside, but he was forced out of the job because he was not properly certificated. He is now in the process of getting a Master’s Degree to become certificated.
Patterson was also offered the head coaching job at Berkeley College in West Paterson but turned that down to focus on his classwork and teaching obligations.
Prior to his stint at Eastside, Patterson was the head coach at Paterson Catholic, sending numerous players to the Division I ranks and leading PC to the 2002 Passaic County title.
A player’s coach who relates well to many athletes in the Paterson area, he owns career victories over both St. Anthony head coach Bob Hurley and St. Patrick head coach Kevin Boyle.
A Kennedy graduate, he won three straight Passaic County titles and a state sectional title in the 1980s as a player, and was a coach on teams that won state sectional titles at both Paterson Catholic and Eastside.
Clifton struggled last year after former coach John Michael Santulli left, but Patterson is a proven winner who should get things turned around relatively quickly.
“I want to get over there this week to meet some of the players,” Patterson said. “I’ll figure it out when I get there.”
This is the third Passaic County boys hoops story broken by ZAGSBLOG this week, following the commitments of DePaul’s Justin Crosgile to St. Joe’sand Paterson Catholic’s Lance Brown to Fordham. For the latest and best news on local hoops, read ZAGSBLOG daily.
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.