Pattons Endow Football Coaching Chair 8/15/02

Vanderbilt will have the first endowed head football coaching position in the Southeastern Conference as a result of a gift from Richard and Robin Patton of Nashville, University officials announced today.

First-year coach Bobby Johnson will have the Bronson Ingram Head Football Coach’s Chair, which is named in honor of Robin Patton’s late father. Ingram, a Nashville business and philanthropic leader, served as president of the Vanderbilt Board of Trust from 1991-1995 and led the Campaign for Vanderbilt, which raised more the $560 million for the University.

“A vibrant Athletic Department is important to a well-rounded University,” Robin Patton says. “People are important -- my father knew that -- because good things start with the right people. We believe Bobby Johnson is the right man to lead our football program. My father loved the Commodores and he would want all of us to help keep top talent at Vanderbilt University. We hope this gift will inspire others toward that goal.”

The Patton’s gift makes Vanderbilt one of a handful in the country with endowed coaching positions, and the only one in the SEC.

“This is an extraordinarily generous and unique gift,” said Chancellor Gordon Gee. “Robin and Richard have made the most important investment in Vanderbilt’s future - a permanent commitment to excellence. We are grateful for their continued confidence in Vanderbilt, and hope that is will be an inspiration to others who want the University to compete at the highest levels in all it does.”

Director of Athletics Todd Turner called the endowment “the ultimate leadership gift” while noting the commitment to Vanderbilt athletics that he hopes will encourage others to follow.

Added Coach Bobby Johnson: “I am proud to have my position endowed in the name of Bronson Ingram. “I have been asked many times why I think we will succeed and my answer always starts with the commitment from our administration and friends like Richard and Robin Patton. They are as passionate about excellence as we are.”

In addition to the new head coaching position, the Vanderbilt Athletics Department currently has 29 endowed funds that are providing a total of 49 scholarships for student-athletes competing in 14 varsity sports.


Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)