What a country music superstar taught TCU’s Gary Patterson about stardom

Gary Patterson didn’t have the best of days Saturday, seeing his TCU squad endure the most lopsided loss of his tenure in a 47-10 pounding by No. 7 West Virginia.

But, after answering all questions related to his team’s performance on the field, Patterson made a point to share a story about a West Virginian he admires – country music star Brad Paisley.

Patterson proudly displays an autographed guitar by Paisley in the “recruiting room” at his home, something he received about 10 years ago from Paisley at a Goodnight Award gala that both attended.

The Goodnight Award is named after Charles Goodnight, the most recognizable rancher in Texas history, and recognizes top ranchers from across the state.

“He signed the guitar for me and asked if I had a request for a song,” Patterson said. “I said, ‘You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive.’ It’s an eastern Kentucky song about mining. He said, ‘I don’t ever play ballads.’ But he did and he sang a verse for me, which was way cool.

“I really appreciate the way he gives back to people and helps people.”

Patterson and Paisley crossed paths again a couple years ago when Paisley was in Fort Worth for a private party. Patterson again complimented Paisley on his charity endeavors, and Paisley said something that has stuck with Patterson.

“He said, ‘People mature to the level of when they become famous,’” Patterson said. “He became famous later on in his life, in his 30s, instead of earlier. That was a unique statement to me that he said and I think he lived by it and I think that’s cool.

“Some gain stardom so early and they never mature past that age that they become that. For a guy like him, everything he’s done, to recognize that and see it and do it really stayed with me.

“I think it applies to not just musicians, but coaches, anybody that rises. You get caught up in everything going on. A lot of respect for him and his dad [Doug].”

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