In his second season with Lincoln University, Defensive Coordinator Pat Henderson brings a wealth of experience to the Oaklanders football team. A lot of this experience has stemmed from his various coaching stops. After finishing his playing career in College at Oregon State in 2009, where he played for well-known college coach Mike Riley, Coach Henderson had a stint at Contra Costa College in San Pablo, California from 2010-2013. Here, he served in various capacities on the defensive staff, from being a cornerbacks coach, co-Defensive Coordinator, and full-time Defensive Coordinator. After serving as a Graduate Assistant at USC from 2014-2015, he returned to Contra Costa College as their Defensive Coordinator in 2016 and eventually served as Head Coach from 2017-2019. But just how did he end up becoming a coach for the Oaklanders? And what does he expect from his players? Let’s hear it from Coach Henderson himself!
Q: What brought you here to Lincoln University?
A: “I had some opportunities come across my table. But I saw what Lincoln University was trying to do, and I had a prior relationship with our Athletic Director/Head Coach, Desmond Gumbs. I was able to coach his sons. I coached Chandler Gumbs at Contra Costa College, and Addison Gumbs. We always had that rapport. When we crossed paths, he gave me a call. He told me about what they were building over here in Oakland, and I’m a born and bred Oakland, California kid. This is something special that I feel like I have to be a part of.”
Q: There’s a saying, that a team or unit takes on the personality of its coach. What’s your coaching style like, and what do you pride yourself on doing and teaching your players? What’s the top priority for you when it comes to having a strong position group or solid defense?
A: “That’s a great question. I pride myself on being organized, efficient and tough mentally and physically. Throughout my time as a coach, I think about these things all the time. You always want to make sure you have an identity. When you’re presenting the work you’ve been putting together and preparing, you want people to be able to see that your group is a very physically and mentally tough group. I also pride myself on being a great teacher. These things are things that I definitely preach, and I make sure that our unit understands that these are things we have to be, in order to be successful within our defense and or in our program. And then on top of that, the most important thing is to make sure that you’re having fun.”
Q: What are your goals for this season? Do you have any specific goals for your unit that you want to accomplish?
A: “I think the most important thing right now, is to continue to build the program and make sure we do a good job of embracing the process. I think there’s tremendous potential for what this program and university can provide and accomplish. But I think the most important thing right now is to focus on what our process is. We need to figure out what the things are that we need to do on a day in and day out basis. Focusing on one day at a time is the most important. It’s easy to get lost in the sauce thinking about all the things we can do or will do. We need to find a rhythm and a routine in order to build a solid foundation for Lincoln University Athletics which will lead to the next phases of it all.”