Faith Johnson Patterson is moving on.
After nearly 20 years of setting the bar for high school girls’ basketball in Minneapolis proper, the longtime DeLaSalle coach officially accepted the coaching job at Eden Prairie on Friday.
“It’s an exciting opportunity,” she said. “It’s the next chapter in my journey coaching at the high school level. I really feel that it will be good for me.”
Last season, Eden Prairie lost in the Class 4A, Section 6 semifinal to Minnetonka 73-58. Former Eagles coach Chris Carr accepted the Minnetonka boys’ coaching job last month.
Johnson Patterson, who has led her teams at Minneapolis North and DeLaSalle to a combined eight state championships since 1995, took nearly two months to make her decision.
In the change, Johnson Patterson also will be returning to normalcy. Inundated with myriad health issues — Johnson Patterson, 52, had surgery for herniated discs in her back and neck and was diagnosed with Paget’s disease, among other things — she sat out most of last season while her team went 19-5 and lost in the Class 3A, Section 3 championship.
“I was on a lot of medication, and it was the most incredible pain I’ve ever experienced,” said Johnson Patterson, who was inducted into the Minnesota girls’ basketball coaches Hall of Fame in 2012. “I had a rough year and I feel like I’ve changed quite a bit … it causes you just to kind of look at things and appreciate opportunities more. But I’m excited because I feel rejuvenated as a coach. I don’t think I realized I wasn’t rejuvenated.”
Johnson Patterson cited the opportunity to grow for her and her long-standing staff — which includes her husband, John Patterson — as well as the Eagles program’s abundant resources as the key draws in her decision. Eden Prairie is home to some of the nicer facilities in the metro area. She also will have access to a feeder program for the first time in her coaching career.
“I really do feel better than ever — emotionally, mentally, physically,” she said. “When you have the excitement of new beginnings, it just gives you another level of energy and drive. As a coach, I’m excited about that.”