1986 Warrior Baseball Class 3A state championship team

The photo was in the May 1986 issue of the Pontotoc Progress congratulating the Pontotoc Warrior Baseball team on their state championship win.

Patterson holds the recored as being the state's winningest coach with a career record of 474-161.

News of the death of Pontotoc High School’s former baseball coach Ben Patterson brought reaction from folks who knew him on the field and off.

Patterson coached at PHS for 24 years, including an 18 year stint as head coach. He is one of the state’s winningest coaches.

Former Pontotoc High School baseball coach Tommy Wood said Patterson was “A gentlemen and the players loved and respected him. The way he carried himself trickled down to the players. I had complete confidence when I turned the program over to him.”

One of his former players, Reggie Zinn, who was a the pitcher and first baseman from 1980-1984 said “We are all struggling with this one. He was a terrific family man and coach. He had a way of being assertive and respectful. He taught us more about being men than baseball, but he knew baseball very well.”

Patterson was also a Sunday school teacher and one of his former students, Sara Butler Prince who now lives in Virginia, said he was the best Sunday school teacher she ever had.

And one of the younger members of the church she attended, Amee Marshall recalled his love of art and sharing Jesus through chalk talks. “I always loved it when he did a chalk drawing,” she said.

Patterson passed on his love for coaching in his sons. His son, Adam, is the head softball coach at South Pontotoc.

He is survived by his wife, Gail Bush Patterson, four sons, his mother Mary Furr Patterson, and several siblings.

Funeral services haven’t been announced yet. Please read the Pontotoc Progress this Wednesday for a larger story on this winning coach. His obituary will be posted online at this site when it is available.

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