Patrick Hughes ’04 is Blessed Trinity’s alumni director as well as a BT graduate. After high school, he attended the University of Tennessee. He was named the head boys basketball coach during the 2014-15 season, after having been a part of the Titan coaching staff for five years. Coach Hughes and his wife, Lauren, live in Brookhaven.
Having the unique perspective of being an alum now working at BT, what are some of your fondest memories of being a student at BT? I have a great deal of fond memories from my time here at Blessed Trinity as a student. Being a member of the first class to go through all four years at BT is something I am very proud of. Most of my memories involve the many “firsts” I was able to experience as a student. I recall fondly our school field trip to watch “Remember The Titans.” I remember many of the first sporting events at BT including the first basketball game that I was a part of. I was the captain of the varsity boys basketball team that went from 0 – 25 as a sophomore to making the state tournament as a senior, and I was the only member of the program who was playing as a freshman and stuck it out for four years. To experience that moment was, as it still is, very special for me. I also remember starting at safety vs. Buford in the state playoffs for the football team.
What activities were you involved in as a student? As a student at Blessed Trinity, I was involved in the Spanish Club as well as being a varsity letterman in both football and basketball.
Any great/funny stories? Having the school’s principal as my math teacher is also something I look back upon and find a bit funny. I didn’t know Mr. Moore that well as a student before being in his class, so I was unaware of his dry sense of humor. I think I replied to something he said in class one day with a sarcastic comment and he fired right back at me with a joke of his own. I was definitely taken off guard.
Who was your favorite teacher and why? My favorite teacher was Ms. Halligan, now Mrs. Clark, who taught me AP US History. I always had a passion for history – it was my major in college – and her class was not only entertaining but also challenging.
How did BT prepare you for the future? I felt extremely prepared academically for the transition from high school to college. I think BT’s college prep curriculum, as well as its block scheduling, puts BT students in the position to be successful from day one in college.
What big changes have you seen physically on campus and at the school in general? Having been a member of the student body the first day the school opened, I have seen changes in the school in a large number of ways. First and foremost the size of the student body. When the school opened there were 219 students and almost no students drove to school, so the parking lot was largely empty aside from faculty/staff cars. The tree-lined campus that we now enjoy was full of newly planted trees. During class changes the hallways were sparsely populated and less than half of the classrooms and lockers were in use. I had a math teacher who had three classrooms set up for different types of learning; one for group work, one for test taking and lecture, and the other had a large “X & Y axis” on the floor. The track that is now rubberized was concrete. There weren’t any lights over the lower (soccer/lacrosse) field or the baseball field. The fieldhouse wasn’t nearly as big as it is now, there wasn’t a school store and the theater lacked the lighting it has now.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of your job as the school’s alumni director? The most enjoyable aspect of my job as alumni director is two fold:
1) Interacting with alumni, many of whom were classmates of mine while I was a student at BT, and re-involving them in our alma mater.
2) Interacting with current BT students and educating them on what it is that the alumni director and Development Office at BT does.
What is your biggest challenge? My biggest challenge as it relates to my job as alumni director is reconnecting with alumni that we haven’t heard from in years. Getting and keeping updated contact information for them, whether it’s a physical address or e-mail address, so that we can let them know about events on campus or in their area is a challenge.
How has your second year as the boys head basketball coach been compared to last year? I don’t really like to compare one year to another because each year stands on its own. The composition of our team is different, and the opponents we play are not necessarily the same. I will say this though, in my seven seasons being a coach in the basketball program at BT, we have been fortunate to have groups of young men who are extremely hard working. I have learned that the teams that have been most successful are the teams that not only work hard day in-and-day-out in practice and games, but are also willing to sacrifice individual accolades for the greater good. We had that type of team last season, and I hope we can develop into that type of team this year.
As the coach, you are here to guide and teach your players, but what have your players taught you? There are several things that I’ve learned from my players, but the biggest thing can be summed up in one word, PATIENCE.
What does working at BT mean to you? It’s an absolute honor, and I truly mean that. Working at a place that makes a daily impact on the lives of young people is special. Add to the point that it’s my alma mater, and it’s really a dream come true. I knew from a young age I wanted to work in a high school and coach basketball. I am grateful every day I have the opportunity to do that and want to thank Principal Frank Moore and Athletic Director Ricky Turner for having the faith in me at a young age to do such an important job.