The University of Miami has taken advantage of the NCAA’s new allowance of a 10th full-time assistant coach, announcing the hiring/promotion of Jonathan Patke to outside linebackers coach.
Patke spent the two seasons with the Hurricanes, working under defensive coordinator Manny Diaz as a defensive quality control analyst and assisting with the linebackers.
UM head coach Mark Richt, who confirmed Wednesday during his National Signing Day press conference that he had made a decision about who his new assistant coach would be, released a statement Thursday afternoon.
“We are excited to elevate Coach Patke to this new role on our staff,” Richt said. “He has worked incredibly hard over the past two years and will continue to help our defense improve.”
While Patke only has two seasons experience with the Canes, he has multiple deep-rooted connections to Miami’s coaching staff.
The former Stephen F. Austin State linebacker spent the 2015 season as a graduate assistant at Mississippi State, where he also worked with Diaz on the defensive side of the ball.
Before joining the coaching staff at Mississippi State, Patke worked with Diaz at Louisiana Tech in 2014 and helped guide the Bulldogs to a 9-5 record.
Patke’s coaching career began in 2011 at University of The Incarnate Word, working with current Miami safeties coach Ephraim Banda. During his time at UIW, Patke earned his master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in sports management.
Patke called earning his first full-time assistant coaching job “a godsend”.
“It’s a blessing,” Patke said. “To become a full-time assistant coach here at Miami under Coach Richt and Coach Diaz, it’s a godsend. Working with our players and seeing the success we had this year, and being able to continue to build on that, it’s a dream come true.
“When I came to Coral Gables, what really stood out to me was the history of this program and the love the city has for the Hurricanes,” Patke said in the school’s release. “You learn to love it just as much. The amount of talent you can get here – great, great players that truly love Miami – is what sets this program apart.”
Though the job title of “graduate assistant” or “quality control analyst” sounds blasé, the work that Patke – and others in similar roles – put in is tangible.
In his two seasons with the Canes, Miami ranked among the nation’s leaders in several defensive categories – including No. 1 in team sacks, No. 3 nationally in tackles for loss and No. 9 nationally in opponent yards per play. It also ranked No. 5 nationally in turnover margin, No. 8 nationally in fumbles recovered and No. 15 nationally in passes intercepted.
The same thing while he was at Louisiana Tech with Diaz – the Bulldogs’ defensive unit ranked No. 1 in the country in turnovers gained and interceptions, and ranked second nationally in tackles for loss.