After eight seasons, Ottumwa girls head basketball coach Kevin Patterson has resigned. He and his family are moving to the Des Moines metro area, where his wife recently accepted a job. Patterson has accepted a teaching position at Waukee High School.
Patterson compiled a 72-85 record during his time in Ottumwa, and leaves with a career record of 136-110. He won two CIML Metro Conference championships, in 2012 (his first season) and again in 2017. In between those two titles, he led Ottumwa through a sometimes-difficult rebuilding period.
The first squad Patterson coached included Ottumwa’s all-time leading scorer, Kelsey Nickerson, as well as standouts Ashley Salgado, Avery Roane, Paige Schreiner, Rachel Hinebaugh and Tara Gott. The six seniors led the Bulldogs to a 15-7 record, a Metro title and a narrow loss at Dowling in the regional semifinals. Five of the six would go on to play college basketball (and the sixth, Schreiner, had a successful college softball career).
The loss of all six to graduation, however, meant Patterson would have to start building his program from the ground up. Ottumwa won just nine games in the next two seasons, but started to see more improvement with an 8-14 finish in 2015. That season, senior Jami Nickerson led all of Class 5A in the regular season with 61 made 3-pointers. The next season, led by four-year starter Rachel Zingg, saw the Bulldogs hit double digits in wins, finishing 10-13.
In the 2016-2017 season, led by seniors Jaylin Carter and Jada Schrage, sophomore Lily Anderson and freshman Kacy Nickerson, Patterson pushed his team above .500 for the first time since his first campaign. The Bulldogs went 14-9, and won another Metro championship. Unlike the first title, however, there was no steep dropoff the next season. Ottumwa finished 12-10 in 2018, then posted a 14-6 record this past season, giving OHS three straight seasons over .500. The Bulldogs’ 2019 record gave them their highest winning percentage in school history.
The cupboard is far from bare next season for Patterson’s successor. Ottumwa will miss the graduated Anderson, Morgan Greiner and Helen Altfillisch, but starters Alli Bookin-Nosbisch, Grace Bookin-Nosbisch, Katie Nelson and Kaylee Bix all return for their senior seasons, as does Kacy Nickerson.