Stephen Paterson joined the Fighting Leatherneck coaching staff in 2010 as a student assistant coach after one of the most successful goalkeeping careers in Western Illinois history.
In his three years as an assistant coach, Paterson has helped guide Leatherneck goalies to two All-Summit League selections and five Summit League Defensive Player of the Week honors. The Leathernecks have also been crowned as Summit League in two of his three seasons as an assistant.
Paterson, pursuing a degree in History from Western Illinois University, was a record-setting goalkeeper on Western's men's soccer team from 2006-2009. Paterson appeared in 71 matches over his career with the Leathernecks, and made 68 starts in goal.
During his playing career, Paterson was a key member of two conference tournament champions and appeared in two NCAA tournaments (2006, 2009).
As a freshman in 2006, Paterson was named the Mid Continent Defensive Player of the Year after posting a 0.87 GAA, .819 save percentage and conference-high eight shutouts. With Paterson in goal, Western captured their first regular season title since 2000, and first outright conference championship since 1995. Paterson collected consecutive shutouts in the Mid-Con Tournament to help the Leathernecks tie the school-record for wins (15) in a season.
Paterson made 11 starts in net as a sophomore in 2007 and was named The Summit League Defensive Player of the Week for September 3-9. He posted a 1.07 goals against average and registered three shutouts. In 2008, Paterson started all 17 matches and was named to the all-Summit League Second Team. He registered six shutouts and set the school record for the best goals against average (0.76).
As a senior in 2009, Paterson served as a team captain and led the Leathernecks to their fourth conference title in six years. He was named The Summit League Tournament MVP after recording two shutouts and set the all-time school record with 23 career shutouts. Paterson was named to the Summit League All-Tournament Team and earned second team all-league honors. A two-time recipient of the Summit League Defensive Player of the Week award, Paterson was also named as The Summit League male athlete of the month for November.
Paterson, a native of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, played for seven seasons in the Premier Developmental League of the United Soccer League (PDL) with the Thunder Bay Chill.