Alabama gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson shares open letter on d - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Alabama gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson shares open letter on decision to step down

Posted: Updated:
Open letter from Alabama gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson, who announced Tuesday that she's stepping down after 36 years:

"After much thought and prayer and after much consultation with Athletics Director Bill Battle and our President, Dr. Judy Bonner, I have decided to step down from the only job I have ever known since graduating from college.

"Though I haven't shared my physical problems outside my family and a few close friends, they have degenerated to a point where I will have multiple surgeries over the coming year. While, not life threatening, things have progressed to the point where my physicians have mandated that I have both knees replaced and they have estimated that it will be over a year until I am fully recovered.

"I will have the first surgery after we receive our 2014 SEC championship rings at the Southern Miss football game and celebrate an amazing season with that team. I will have the second surgery in the spring after recovery from the first surgery.

"I would like to thank Coach Battle and President Bonner for offering me the opportunity to take a complete year of medical leave and to then return to coaching. But David and I came to the conclusion that having a staff that changes multiple times in a significant way over a two-year span is not in the best interest our gymnasts or the continued success of our program.

"Coaching is a 24/7 job that requires being at our best on a daily basis. I know myself well and I need to put my health first and foremost for the quality of my life in the future and I do not feel that I can do that and give my best as a coach.

"I am grateful that for 36 years, David and I were able to implement our coaching philosophy of trying to develop well-rounded young women who are ready to make a difference in the lives of others upon their graduation from this University.

"I would like to share how blessed David and I have been with the unconditional love and support of our daughters Jessie and Jordan throughout our career and this decision. They - along with our son-in-law Brett - have been our biggest fans and together we have all shared our love for this University and the amazing experiences that we have had.

"This is not a joyous time for David and I as we step away from jobs that we have loved every day along the way, but I know it is this right decision for us personally, as well as it being the best decision for the long-term success of the gymnastics program. I want to thank Coach Bryant for taking a chance on a 22-year-old graduate of Slippery Rock State College and hiring me for the best coaching job in the country.

"I want to express my appreciation and fond remembrances of Mal Moore for his support, and the overall vision he had for this department, and for hiring the coaches that have helped turn that vision into the championship program we enjoy as a department today.

"Our current Athletic Director Bill Battle is one of the best leaders I have ever worked with and his vision will continue to give our department the opportunity to compete at the highest levels.

"To Dr. Judy Bonner, one of the highlights of my career, and one of the very few times I was ever late to practice, was standing in the back of the room when you were announced as our president. I felt like at that point, I could go back to our ladies and tell them that at the University of Alabama, you could truly be whatever you wanted, even president.

"I also need to thank Marie Robbins, a member of our first championship team in 1988 and now an associate athletics director and our senior woman administrator. From your first moments on campus, through this latest decision - your guidance, counsel and unwavering support have meant the world to us. I can't imagine how we would have managed without you.

"I would like to give a heartfelt thank you to our staff and coaches, both past and present. Each one of you made a difference for our program, in the earliest days right through to the present moment, words can't express how grateful we are for everything along the way.

"And more than anyone, I want to thank our ladies. From our first class, who took a chance on us when we began this journey and then took us to the national championships as seniors, to the freshmen of 2014 ... you are all a part of our championship legacy, all a part of the tradition of excellence that this program has highlighted for the last 36 years. You are all in our hearts and we can't begin to express what it has meant to us to continue to be a part of your lives.

"While we close this chapter on our careers, this is not the end of the story. I am very much looking forward to the future and continuing as a part of the Alabama family, the Tuscaloosa community and the sport we love so much as a member of the NCAA Gymnastics Committee.

"Thanks to everyone for their support over the many years and of course, Roll Tide!

"Sarah Patterson"  

Source: Alabama Athletics via rolltide.com
  • Auburn University SportsMore>>

  • Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:33 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:33:03 GMT
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.More >>
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.
    More >>
  • CB Chris Westry commits to Auburn

    CB Chris Westry commits to Auburn

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:22 PM EDT2014-07-24 18:22:20 GMT
    Auburn added some size to the future of it's defensive backfield.Cornerback Chris Westry of Oakleaf High School in Florida committed to be part of the Tigers recruiting class of 2015. The 6-foot-4, 180 pound Westry is a three-star prospect according to 247Sports.Oakleaf High School announced the commitment on it's twitter page,2015 DB Chris Westry has committed to Auburn #WarEagle --Oakleaf Football ?, July 24 Westry is the 18th commitment for Auburn's 2015 signing class.More >>
    Auburn added some size to the future of it's defensive backfield.Cornerback Chris Westry of Oakleaf High School in Florida committed to be part of the Tigers recruiting class of 2015. The 6-foot-4, 180 pound Westry is a three-star prospect according to 247Sports.Oakleaf High School announced the commitment on it's twitter page,2015 DB Chris Westry has committed to Auburn #WarEagle --Oakleaf Football ?, July 24 Westry is the 18th commitment for Auburn's 2015 signing class.More >>
  • Josh Donaldson nominated for MLB Heart and Hustle Award

    Josh Donaldson nominated for MLB Heart and Hustle Award

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:37:43 GMT
    Josh Donaldson earned the Oakland A's Heart and Hustle Award. It's the second consecutive season Donaldson was chosen for the honor.More >>
    Josh Donaldson earned the Oakland A's Heart and Hustle Award. It's the second consecutive season Donaldson was chosen for the honor.More >>
  • All other Local CollegesMore>>

  • Samford picked to finish third in Southern Conference

    Samford picked to finish third in Southern Conference

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:38 PM EDT2014-07-24 00:38:39 GMT
    Coming off it's first trip to the FCS Playoffs, Samford was picked to finish third in the Southern Conference, the highest the program has even been picked in the preseason since it joined the league in 2008.More >>
    Coming off it's first trip to the FCS Playoffs, Samford was picked to finish third in the Southern Conference, the highest the program has even been picked in the preseason since it joined the league in 2008.More >>
  • Alabama State, Southern favorites in SWAC

    Alabama State, Southern favorites in SWAC

    Friday, July 18 2014 5:11 PM EDT2014-07-18 21:11:55 GMT
    Defending Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Southern and Alabama State are the favorites to win their divisions.More >>
    Defending Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Southern and Alabama State are the favorites to win their divisions.
    More >>
  • JSU football picked by media to win OVC championship

    JSU football picked by media to win OVC championship

    Friday, July 18 2014 4:08 PM EDT2014-07-18 20:08:13 GMT
    Jacksonville State is picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference championship by media covering the league.More >>
    Jacksonville State is picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference championship by media covering the league.
    More >>
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Abuse suspect dead; 2 marshals, NY policeman hurt

    Abuse suspect dead; 2 marshals, NY policeman hurt

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:35 AM EDT2014-07-29 07:35:44 GMT
    Authorities say a sex-assault suspect got in a shootout with law enforcement in New York City that wounded the suspect, two federal marshals and a police officer.More >>
    A California man who skipped town after being accused of molesting a boy was killed and three law enforcement officers trying to arrest him were wounded in a daytime shootout inside a small smoke shop in one of New...More >>
  • Homewood City Council denies hotel an extension to continue operating

    Homewood City Council denies hotel an extension to continue operating

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:27 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:27:21 GMT
    A Homewood hotel plagued by problems must close by the end of the week. City leaders considered an extension for America's Best Value Inn and Suites, but denied the request.More >>
    A Homewood hotel plagued by problems must close by the end of the week. City leaders considered an extension for America's Best Value Inn and Suites, but denied the request.More >>
  • Two shot at Tuscaloosa apartment complex

    Two shot at Tuscaloosa apartment complex

    Two shot at Tuscaloosa apartment complex

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:53 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:53:43 GMT
    A female juvenile and an adult male were shot around 7pm at Forrester Gardens Apartments in 1300 James Harrison Pkwy.More >>
    A female juvenile and an adult male were shot around 7pm at Forrester Gardens Apartments in 1300 James Harrison Pkwy.More >>
  • Pike Road woman named new ASU Trustee

    Pike Road woman named new ASU Trustee

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:27 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:27:11 GMT
    Gov. Robert Bentley has appointed Pam Ware of Pike Road as a trustee of Alabama State University.A spokeswoman for the governor says Ware replaces Elton Dean of Montgomery, who resigned last week at the request of the governor.Ware is an Alabama State graduate who works as manager of intergovernmental affairs at the Business Council of Alabama.Also on Monday, the governor scheduled a special meeting for the Alabama State trustees on Aug. 8. A spokeswoman for the governor says topics to be dis...More >>
    Gov. Robert Bentley has appointed Pam Ware of Pike Road as a trustee of Alabama State University.A spokeswoman for the governor says Ware replaces Elton Dean of Montgomery, who resigned last week at the request of the governor.Ware is an Alabama State graduate who works as manager of intergovernmental affairs at the Business Council of Alabama.Also on Monday, the governor scheduled a special meeting for the Alabama State trustees on Aug. 8. A spokeswoman for the governor says topics to be dis...More >>
  • Principal address several job openings at Minor High School

    Principal address several job openings at Minor High School

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 00:14:34 GMT
    Students in Jefferson County return to school next week. Parents with kids at Minor High School wonder who will teach them and which classes they'll take. One emailed ABC 33/40 asking us to help get answers.The parent told ABC 33/40 through email, there are 20 vacancies on the staff and no counselors on the payroll Minor High. Principal Dr. JuntaAnnn acknowledged she is in a hiring blitz, but there's more to the story."Minor High School is a well-kept secret," said Dr.Annn.Dr.Annn is aware on...More >>
    Students in Jefferson County return to school next week. Parents with kids at Minor High School wonder who will teach them and which classes they'll take. One emailed ABC 33/40 asking us to help get answers.The parent told ABC 33/40 through email, there are 20 vacancies on the staff and no counselors on the payroll Minor High. Principal Dr. JuntaAnnn acknowledged she is in a hiring blitz, but there's more to the story."Minor High School is a well-kept secret," said Dr.Annn.Dr.Annn is aware on...More >>
  • Commissioner Brown asks for end to vote challenge

    Commissioner Brown asks for end to vote challenge

    Commissioner Brown asks for end to vote challenge

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:27 PM EDT2014-07-28 23:27:52 GMT
    Jefferson County Commissioner Sandra Little Brown stood with her attorneys and supporters.More >>
    Jefferson County Commissioner Sandra Little Brown stood with her attorneys and supporters.
    More >>
  • Rebuilding continues in Bessemer for homes, park hit by tornado

    Rebuilding continues in Bessemer for homes, park hit by tornado

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-07-28 23:06:51 GMT
    Rebuilding efforts continue in Bessemer three months after a tornado hit central Alabama.Volunteers are now fixing houses that were destroyed to help families return home.More >>
    Rebuilding efforts continue in Bessemer three months after a tornado hit central Alabama.Volunteers are now fixing houses that were destroyed to help families return home.More >>
  • Crimson Tide set to host annual Fan Day

    Crimson Tide set to host annual Fan Day

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-07-28 23:06:14 GMT
    Alabama will hold it's annual Fan Day Sunday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Fans are invited to watch the Crimson Tide practice, followed by an autograph session with the team.The practice is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. and expected to last two hours. Alabama reports for preseason practice on Thursday and holds it's first workout on Friday.The Tide open the 2014 season against West Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta on Aug. 30.More >>
    Alabama will hold it's annual Fan Day Sunday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Fans are invited to watch the Crimson Tide practice, followed by an autograph session with the team.The practice is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. and expected to last two hours. Alabama reports for preseason practice on Thursday and holds it's first workout on Friday.The Tide open the 2014 season against West Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta on Aug. 30.More >>