Charles (Chuck) Alva Patten was born December 3, 1938, in Waterloo, Iowa. He wrestled at East High School in Waterloo, where he graduated in 1956. In 1961 Patten received a bachelor's degree in Physical Education from the State College of Iowa (UNI). While working on this degree, he participated on the wrestling and golf teams. He lettered in wrestling in 1959, 1960, and 1961.
After graduating, Patten worked on his master's degree at the University of Oregon. He was the freshman wrestling coach there until he graduated in 1962 with a degree in physical education. From 1962 through 1963, he coached at Exeter High School in California. In 1963 he began coaching wrestling at Reedsport High School in Oregon.
In 1965, Patten was named head coach of the wrestling and golf teams at the State College of Iowa (UNI), his alma mater. Highlights of Patten's career at UNI include being named the NCAA Division II Coach of the Year in 1969 and 1978; serving as president of the NCAA College Division Coaches Association from 1971 through 1972; and leading the Panthers to first place finishes at the Division II Championships in 1975 and 1978. With a record of 217-87-8, he also holds the distinction of being the coach who has had the most victories.
Patten retired from coaching in 1982 to assume the position of Assistant to the Athletic Director at UNI. His assistant coach, Don Briggs, became the new Head Coach.
Patten with assistant coach Don Briggs in 1982.
Compiled by student assistant Jonathan Russell; edited by Library Assistant Susan A. Basye, May 1997; last updated, January 13, 2014 (GP).