After nearly four decades covering sports in Chattanooga and beyond, NewsChannel 9 sports legend Darrell Patterson has announced plans to retire. Patterson's last day on the air will be Thursday, December 12.
Darrell joined WTVC part-time in 1974 while working as the voice of the Mocs on WDOD-FM. He quickly developed a reputation for capturing "the human drama of athletic competition," and showed he was a perfect fit for ABC's Wide World of Sports philosophy. In 1975, Darrell was asked to become the station's full-time sports reporter. And, as they say, the rest is history. In 2004, Darrell was inducted into the Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame.
"Darrell's presentation has always been about more than just scores and highlights," says NewsChannel 9 News Director Tom Henderson. "He is a talented and enthusiastic sports storyteller."
Darrell says growing up in Athens, TN shaped his understanding of this region's sports interests. And he credits some good advice early in his career - treating the camera like a real person - with helping him connect with folks watching at home.
"Since being given that advice, I've always imagined the camera as my younger brother, Panky, in Athens," Patterson says. "I imagine myself talking to him, figuring if he can understand what I'm trying to say, anyone can. Panky has never understood that that's a compliment, by the way!"
Throughout his career, Darrrell has remained active in support of our community. For 22 years, he hosted the annual Darrell Patterson Volunteer Challenge - a golf tournament benefiting "Santa for All Seasons." Over two decades, the Volunteer Challenge raised more than $500,000 for area foster children. Darrell's leadership in the event was recognized by Tennessee governors Ned McWherter and Don Sundquist,.
"Darrell is a tremendous asset to both the station and this community," says WTVC General Manager Mike Costa. "It's difficult to imagine, after nearly 40 years, he will no longer be reporting the scores and stories of our favorite sports. We're sad that he'll be leaving us, but also very honored to have had him as part of our team for so long. That day is still a couple of months away, so I and our viewers can still enjoy Darrell's enthusiastic approach and take time to thank him for his contribution to the station and the community."
WTVC NewsChannel 9 is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. and is the number one local news station in the region*. SBGI is one of the largest, most diversified television companies in the U.S.