Hanahan's Charlie Patterson bids farewell to coaching
Charlie Patterson is changing careers. The 53-year-old football coach recently resigned after 10 years at the helm of the Hanahan Hawks. Now, he’s ready for a job that many people would consider an extended time of rest and relaxation -- or even retirement. He plans to be a deep-sea fishing guide.
“I just felt like it was time to step down and give someone else a chance,” said Patterson, who won 71 games in a decade at the school, but only seven the past two seasons. “I now know what Steve Spurrier went through. I just couldn’t pull the team out of a downward spiral.”
Spurrier, of course, coached at the University of South Carolina, and led the Gamecocks through one of their greatest runs. He was in his 11th season at USC when he announced his resignation after his team opened the 2015 season with a 2-4 record. He was 86-49 during his tenure in Columbia and led the team to an SEC division title in 2010.
Like Spurrier, Patterson didn’t rule out a return to coaching. He’s spent some of his spare time as a fishing guide. But he plans to go full speed ahead and make it a full-time position, adding “We’ll see how it works out. If it doesn’t, I could go to back into coaching as an assistant. You never know where you might resurface.”
The Hawks reached the playoff in each of Patterson’s 10 years, and that included 2016 and ’17 when the Hawks posted records of 3-8 and 4-7.
Those records could have been better if the Hawks had a little luck on their side. They dropped four games by less than a touchdown in 2016 and two this fall.
“We struggled to win the past two years,” said Patterson, who has 30 years of coaching under his belt. “We were in a lot of games, but just couldn’t get it done. Maybe, they need to hire someone to take the team in a new direction and get things done.”
He said the highlight of his career was coaching his son, Chase, who played for the Hawks and graduated in 2013.
“You don’t get to work with family members at the place of your employment,” Patterson said. “It was a unique experience.”
Patterson’s teams were among the best in the state when all cylinders were humming. The Hawks recorded back-to-back 11 win seasons at the height of Patterson’s tenure and had a stretch where they won 97 percent of their conference games.
Patterson coached some gifted athletes such as Chris Brown, Sam Denmark, Tre Smalls, Dominique Green and Quincy Mitchell to name a few. “I’ve coached so many great ones,” he said. “I’ve also coached some really good ones you never heard of.”
Patterson says he is lucky to reach his career dreams. He started playing football when he was 5 years old and played at the high school and college levels. His coaching career spanned 30 years.
“I was lucky to do what I loved,” Patterson said.