TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Keith Patterson on Thursday returned to Tulsa as a co-defensive coordinator, after spending only two months in the same position on former coach Steve Kragthorpe's staff at Louisville.
New Tulsa coach Todd Graham said that Patterson will share the coordinator duties with Paul Randolph. He fills an opening created when Danny Phillips decided to pursue a high school job in Texas.
``We have two guys who have proven to be effective as defensive coordinators on the collegiate level,'' Graham said. ``Keith has roots in Oklahoma and has great pride in being able to coach Division I football in his home state. He is an excellent football coach and tremendous recruiter.''
Patterson was the linebackers coach on Graham's defense at Tulsa for three years before taking over as defensive coordinator last season, when Graham was the head coach at Rice. His unit led Conference USA in total defense and passing defense last season.
After four seasons as Tulsa's coach, Kragthorpe left in January to be hired at Louisville and Patterson followed.
``My decision to return was based on a culmination of so many factors,'' Patterson said. ``Being here for my family as my parents are getting older is important. My relationship with Todd goes back 20 years, and I know what type of program he will continue to build at Tulsa.
``We have an incredible staff with great coaches and great men. I helped recruit a lot of these players and being able to help them continue to grow as young men and players is exciting.''
Graham and Patterson also formerly coached together at Allen High School in Texas.