Michael Patterson embodies the qualities USA Football looks for in all coaches and league leaders. A dedicated coach pushing to expand opportunities for athletes in multiple countries to enjoy the fun and freedom of football, Patterson’s love for the sport runs deep.
“Football has given me so much. It’s given me college, education, and opportunities,” Patterson said. “I love giving back to the game. I love teaching the game and seeing people succeed. The teamwork and environment, it’s everything football has given me, and now I have the opportunity to give back to the game.”
Before he became a member of USA Football’s Girls’ Football Advisory Council and a Master Trainer, Patterson played football in Arizona at Horizon High School. He still lives in the state and remains active as the head girls’ flag football coach at Xavier College Preparatory, where his daughter attends school and plans to play flag football.
Patterson played an active role in the recent sanctioning of girls’ flag football as a high school sport in Arizona.
“Before it all went to the AIA (Arizona Interscholastic Association), Sister Lynn Winsor at Xavier was already planning to build the first flag football field in Arizona for girls,” Patterson said. “Once I came on board, we really started pushing camps and clinics for the girls. We had 140 girls at our interest meeting and 50 at each camp. We played at halftime of the Arizona Cardinals game a few weeks ago and set off the air raid siren to start the game.”
“I’ve been at all the meetings. I’ve been part of putting the rules together with the flag football committee for the AIA,” Patterson explained. “Two coaches from Casteel High School and Hamilton High School and I have been the three primary coaches there with the athletic directors and committee pushing for flag football to be sanctioned in Arizona.”
The AIA sanctioning girls’ flag football paved the way for Patterson to coach his daughter at Xavier College Preparatory, which has already led to some proud father moments.
“It’s amazing to see opportunities for women expanding. My daughter comes to the practice field with me every day, so she’s always been around football,” Patterson said. “I wasn’t sure if she would want to play. Watching her catch the football and run for a touchdown at halftime in the Cardinals’ stadium was such a proud moment. Now I get to coach her in the game I love and the game she’s starting to love. It just means everything.”
Patterson also serves as the Assistant Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach for Brophy College Preparatory, where he’s coached since 2015. That’s around the time he connected with USA Football.
“In 2015, I was invited to help run a regional event for the U.S. National Team here in Phoenix. Everything grew from there,” Patterson said. “I was invited by coach Aaron Ingram to be a part of the IFAF U-19 World Championship coaching staff and later assisted in the U.S. Women’s Tackle National Team trials. I always wanted to be a Master Trainer because I wanted to teach. This is my second year as a Master Trainer, and I’m privileged to be part of the Girls’ Football Advisory Council.”
Patterson gives back to communities in Mexico, where he played college football as a defensive back for Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education and Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon (UANL). He’s the director and founder of the American Football Association of the State of Coahuila (AFAEC).
“We developed the AFAEC five years ago. When I traveled to Mexico to see my cousins and nephews play in youth leagues, I saw they wore old gear, and the coaches weren't up to date with the latest standards. My goal was to grow the state association to certify coaches,” Patterson said. “Now we have equipment donations, better fields, and better access for kids and women to play. We formed state teams and played several times in the International Bowl in Dallas against U.S. National Teams fielded by USA Football. We also play in national games with the Mexican Federation. The AFAEC is one of the largest associations in Mexico after five years of growth.”
Patterson truly enjoys giving back to the game and creating opportunities for young people to enjoy and succeed through football.
“I just want to thank USA Football. USA Football has been a huge part of my life since I was selected to coach for them,” Patterson said. “Now with the Girls’ Football Advisory Council and my role as a Master Trainer, it’s such a big part of who I am. Growing the game globally is a huge passion of mine. I want to thank everyone at USA Football who has helped me grow, and hopefully we continue working together to grow the game.”