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Iconic Ft. Campbell HS Football Coach Dies - Eric Alvarez

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FORT CAMPBELL, Kentucky - Former Ft. Campbell High School football coach Marshall Patterson became a surrogate father figure for hundreds of kids who stayed behind while their parents served overseas.

The iconic coach died Sunday.  He was 79 years old.

Pattersons legacy includes three Kentucky state titles and 227 wins.

"[I have] A great sense of pride in what he did, said Steve Patterson, the coachs son.  That lives on.

Patterson's influence reached far beyond the X's and O's.

If you ever had a problem you could go to him, said Danny Caver, former Ft. Campbell player.

Patterson's players were different from most.  Hardened by a childhood in military families, they moved from school to school and sometimes stayed behind while their parents went to war.

Seeing [Patterson] every day at the school, at practices and he's filling in as the dad and we respect him for that, Caver said.

Patterson's legacy continued when Shawn Berner took over as head coach of the falcons in 2002.

Berner says the same hardships that make Ft. Campbell kids different, also bring them closer together.

 It creates another family for them, Berner said.  It gives them something to look forward to.

And it all started in the early 60s, with a man everyone remembers differently

[I remember] him as bear Bryants offense, University of Alabama, Caver said.

Hes not just a coach but a person and a teacher, Berner said.

He was and will be a great man, Steve Patterson said.

Despite all of Patterson's success, he did not live to see his name inducted into the Kentucky High School Athletic Association's hall of fame. 

That's something his friends and family are trying to change.

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