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Is Sarah Patterson the Best Coach in Alabama History?

Jul 24, 2014
Blythe Lawrence | espnW.com
Photo: Michael Wade/Icon SMI

Editor's Note: Blythe Lawrence contributes to espnW.com. She is a columnist for Universal Sports and covers gymnastics for Examiner.com.

Alabama gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson announced earlier this month that she is stepping away from the only coaching job she has ever held. Patterson took over as head coach of a fledgling program in 1978, at age 22, and turned it into one of Bama's winningest dynasties.

By bringing six national championships, eight SEC titles and record-setting crowds in the tens of thousands to Alabama gymnastics, Patterson will be remembered as one of the all-time great Crimson Tide coaches, right alongside Paul "Bear" Bryant, Frank Thomas and Nick Saban.

espnW.com contributor Blythe Lawrence looked back at the legendary career of Sarah Patterson and the mark she leaves on the University of Alabama and NCAA gymnastics. To read her article in its entirety, go to espnW.com