Head Coach Trina Patterson
Trina Patterson is in her third year as head coach at UNCG during the 2018-19 season.
In her second year at the helm, Patterson led the Spartans to another double-digit win season, earning 13 wins with six coming in Southern Conference play. The 2017-18 season saw UNCG start the season fast; winning four of the first five games, including a 13-point victory at home over VCU. In SoCon play, UNCG earned four SoCon wins at home, starting the run off with a 15-point win over Wofford at home, where Ije Ajemba first set the Division I era rebounding record. UNCG outlasted the Furman Paladins in a double overtime victory just two days later. The Spartans swept the season series with Western Carolina. In the first matchup in Cullowhee, Nadine Soliman scored a career-high 33 points, going 13-of-16 from the field and tied her own record, along with Mickey Haywood, for 3-pointers made in a season. UNCG then knocked off the SoCon’s second-place team ETSU at home, earning a 65-61 win before hitting the road. UNCG defeated Wofford in overtime in Spartanburg with Ajemba breaking her own school record by grabbing 22 rebounds in the victory. The Spartans ended the regular season by finishing the sweep of Western Carolina. In the first round of the SoCon Tournament, the Spartans outlasted the three-seeded Chattanooga Mocs, 70-66 in overtime to earn the program’s eighth-win over the perennial SoCon power. The Spartans then took the second-seeded ETSU Bucs down to the wire, falling 54-52 in the tournament’s semifinals.
Under Patterson’s tutelage, UNCG had a pair of Second Team All-SoCon performers in Ije Ajemba and Nadine Soliman. Ajemba earned SoCon All-Tournament honors for her performance during the SoCon Tournament and Ajemba set numerous UNCG records in her lone season as a Spartan.
The 2017-18 team was the youngest team in the nation, with 10 underclassmen and just two upperclassmen with one senior and a junior. The one senior, Ajemba, made her mark on the UNCG program in her lone season. Ajemba set single season rebounding records for with 260 defensive rebounds, averaging 8.4 per game to rank sixth in the nation. She led the team with 32 blocks and earned 27 steals, earning the team’s Defensive Player of the Year award. Ajemba also earned the team’s Most Outstanding Player award, finishing the season by averaging a double-double with 12.0 points per game and a new UNCG record of 12.3 rebounds per game. She set new Division I era school records for rebounds in a single game (22) and recorded 17 double-doubles, nearly doubling the previous school record.
Following the SoCon Tournament, Patterson led the Spartans on a tremendous postseason run in the Women's Basketball Invitational. UNCG earned a road victory at Charleston Southern before knocking off Brown and Milwaukee at Fleming Gymnasium to advance to the WBI Championship Game. The run was UNCG's first trip to the postseason since the 2001-02 season.
After leading the turnaround for the Spartans, she was named the 2017 SoCon Coach of the Year. UNCG had three players earn all-conference nods, headlined by unanimous SoCon Freshman of the Year and second team honoree Nadine Soliman. Senior guard Bailey Williams garnered a third team selection, while forward Te'ja Twitty received all-freshman recognition.
Patterson, a native of Newport News, Va., joined the Spartans after spending three years on the staff at Old Dominion for coach Karen Barefoot. During her time at ODU, the Lady Monarchs posted three straight appearances in the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT), including second round showings the past two years. She helped ODU record 56 wins over the past three seasons, including a 21-win campaign in 2014-15.
Patterson has helped Old Dominion bring in recruiting classes ranked in the top 50 in the nation the last two seasons. During her time she has helped the Lady Monarchs boast six All-Conference honorees, including Jennie Simms. Simms was named the 2015 C-USA Newcomer of the Year and is a two-time Conference USA All-Conference First Team selection. Patterson's leadership extended far beyond the basketball court as well, as six Lady Monarchs were named to the C-USA All-Academic Team and two received C-USA Academic Medals.
Old Dominion was a defensive force in Conference USA during Patterson's time in Norfolk. The Lady Monarchs finished the season ranked in the top five in six defensive categories, including topping the league in rebounding margin (+6.7) and ranking second in field-goal percentage defense (.397).
Prior to Old Dominion, Patterson spent two seasons working for Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer at Stanford, working primarily with the Cardinal frontcourt and recruiting efforts. During that span Stanford racked up a 68-5 record, capturing the Pac-12 double (conference regular-season and tournament titles) each season and reached its fifth straight Final Four in 2012.
Patterson's work with Stanford's post players both seasons led to the Ogwumike sisters, Nnemkadi and Chiney, being named to the WBCA Coaches' All-America Team in 2012, only the second time that Stanford had landed two players to the prestigious team, and Chiney earning her second straight nod in 2013. Both sisters were named to the Associated Press All-America First Team during this time as Nnemkadi earned the honor in 2012 and Chiney in 2013.
Prior to arriving at Stanford, Patterson served as head coach at University at Albany from 2002-10. She also served two prior head-coaching tenures -- University of Maryland Eastern Shore (1999-2000) and the College of William & Mary (1991-99). She was named conference coach of the year on two different occasions during her 17-year career as leader of a program, earnings honors at both William & Mary and Albany.
During her 17-year head coaching career, Patterson guided 18 players to America East and Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) conference honors, among those a conference rookie of the year, and members of all-conference, all-rookie, all-defensive, all-academic and all-tournament teams.
At Patterson's first head coaching stop at the College of William & Mary in 1991, she took over a program that had not experienced a winning season at the Division I level. In her second year at the helm, Patterson guided the Tribe to the championship game of the 1993 CAA Tournament, and in her third season led the team to a 20-8 record and a third-place finish in the conference standings. For her efforts, Patterson was named 1993-94 CAA Coach of the Year.
During her eight-year stay at Albany, Patterson was named America East Coach of the Year in 2007-08 after guiding the Great Danes to a school-record 10 wins in conference play. Albany would go on to reach the semifinals of the America East Tournament.
As a player, Patterson earned four varsity letters and was a member of four consecutive NCAA Tournament teams under head coach Debbie Ryan at Virginia from 1983-87. During her four years in Charlottesville, the Cavaliers went 95-23, winning 20-plus games each season and capturing three Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season titles. As a team captain during her senior season (1986-87), Patterson helped Virginia post a 26-5 record and reach the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament.
Patterson has also spent time with USA Basketball in both coaching and administrative roles. Her first USA Basketball coaching stint was in 1998, as she served on Nell Fortner's staff for the R. William Jones Cup squad that went 5-0 and captured the gold medal. This team included future Olympians Tamika Catchings and Becky Harmon. She would next reunite with Ryan, serving on Ryan's staff as an assistant coach with the 2003 USA Basketball Pan-American Games Team that won the silver medal.
Patterson earned a bachelor's degree in rhetoric and communication studies from the University of Virginia in 1987. She completed a master's degree in human resource management from National University in 2002.
Patterson and her husband Carl are the parents of three sons, Carl Jr. (CJ), Matthew, and Joshua.