Golden Eagles add familiar face in Pat Donohoe as assistant coach

Golden Eagles add familiar face in Pat Donohoe as assistant coach

By Rob Schabert, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The newest face on the Tennessee Tech football staff is also a familiar face for head coach Watson Brown, and a veteran with 25 years experience.

Brown announced the addition of Pat Donohoe to the Golden Eagle coaching staff, where he will direct Tennessee Tech’s defensive ends. Donohoe not only brings nearly 25 years experience as a Division I football assistant coach to Tech, he also returns to a role he previously had under Brown’s direction.

A 1977 graduate of Wayne (Neb.) State, Donohoe coached for 10 years at UAB on the Blazer staff (1995-2004) under Brown. He spent six years in the private sector, then returned to the coaching ranks last year at Austin Peay.

"I am really excited for the opportunity to work with Watson Brown," Donohoe said. "I know what to expect from him, and he knows exactly what to expect from me. We have a really good line of communication and understanding, and I am excited to be working with him once again.”

Brown is pleased to reunite with Donohoe.

"I know Pat’s philosophy, his enthusiasm, and his energy," Brown said. "He is a quality football coach, and he also knows how to get the most out of his players, both on the field and in the classroom. I know what I can expect from him, and I know the respect his players have for him.

"He is an outstanding teacher, and he will be a tremendous addition to our staff and our football program at Tennessee Tech,” Brown said.

Donohoe coached from 1995 to 2004 at UAB. Under his guidance, the Blazer defensive line was considered one of the nation's best. During the 2001 season, UAB had the No. 1-ranked rush defense nationally and was No. 5 in total defense.

In April of 2002, defensive end Bryan Thomas became the Blazers' first-ever player selected in the first round of the NFL draft. Defensive tackle Eddie Freeman was tabbed soon after as a second-round choice of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Thomas was the third No. 1 draft choice coached by Donohoe. He coached both Eugene Lockhart (1984/Dallas Cowboys) and Lamar Lathon (1990/Houston Oilers) while at the University of Houston for 12 seasons (1980-92), where his duties ranged from coaching linebacker to serving as special teams coach and recruiting coordinator.

Donohoe joined Brown’s staff at UAB in January 1995, after two seasons as a graduate assistant at Mississippi State working with the defensive staff under head coach Jackie Sherrill.

Prior to Mississippi State, Donohoe was on staff at the University of Houston for 12 years. He was a part-time coach for three seasons (1980-82) before being promoted to full-time status in 1983. Donohoe spent the next nine years as a full-time assistant with the Cougars. His duties at Houston ranged from linebackers to recruiting coordinator to special teams.

Donohoe began his coaching career with a two-year stint at Boyden-Hill High School in Iowa. After spending one year each as first an assistant and then head coach, Donohoe returned to his alma mater, Wayne (Neb.) State University, as a graduate assistant.

During his playing days at Wayne State, Donohoe was a four-year starter at middle guard and earned NAIA All-America honors as Wayne State's athlete of the year in his senior season.

In three seasons, he was named both all-conference and the team's Most Valuable Defensive Player. In 1998, he was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame.