GREENVILLE, S.C. - The NCCAA formally inducted Greenville University head men's and women's cross country and track and field coach Brian Patton into the organization's Hall of Fame at a banquet on Thursday, May 30, in South Carolina.
Since 1994, Patton has served as the head coach of six programs at GU, where his men's indoor and outdoor teams have won a total of 10 NCCAA National Championships. He has also been named NCCAA Coach or Coaching Staff of the Year 10 times, while being named conference Cross Country Coach of the Year 25 times. Brian's men's and women's cross country teams have won a combined 31 conference championships, and the track & field teams have taken four conference championships since track & field was introduced as an official conference sport in 2017.
While Brian has enjoyed much success, he loves it more when someone within his sphere of influence begins and sustains a relationship with Christ.
Brian took over the reins of the program and formed a Christ-centered track & field/cross country juggernaut. But he didn't just build one program; he built a whole conference of programs. Brian's work and determination led to Greenville's conference adding cross country and track & field as sponsored sports.
Several hundred student-athletes would not have an opportunity to compete for a conference championship without Brian's work. Within the NCCAA, Brian has served as National or Vice-Chair in indoor and outdoor track & field for many years and worked hard to provide a quality experience for everyone in the NCCAA community.
The fruits of Brian's leadership and love for Christ are evident in his programs. His student-athletes have a commitment to personal, academic, and athletic excellence. Brian's office is usually filled with students on a daily basis, and he often gives spiritual encouragement as he desperately wants others to know Jesus. Brian's teams have been consistently recognized by both the NCCAA and NCAA for their academic achievements regarding team and individual GPA's.
He has also mentored 699 NCCAA Track & Field All-Americans and 73 NCAA Division III Track & Field All-Americans. The interest Brian has taken in his student-athletes' lives hasn't waned since he started in 1994, and the Kingdom of God has grown because of it.
Dean of Professional Studies Doug Faulkner said, "Brian is a determined, persistent, responsible, and caring innovator. His coaching aptitude speaks for itself regarding conference and national championships. But he has a heart for the lost, and he lives out the parable of the leaving the 99 to find one."
"When people think about Greenville cross country and track & field, they think of Brian Patton," stated Dean of Students, Ross Baker. "While he has had continued success in both programs over the past two decades, truly his success has been showing his athletes what following Christ looks like and discipling them along the way."
"Brian's commitment to excellence in all he does has led to this honor that is so well deserved," said NCCAA Executive Director Dan Wood. "He simply honors his Lord in how he serves, trains, and leads. He is humble yet strives to excel, which is a unique balancing act within the Christian experience."