MIAMI — Clay Patterson has resigned as head coach and longtime assistant Zach Allen will take over the top spot in the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M football program, according to athletic director Dale Patterson.

“He is leaving and is considering several options,” Dale Patterson said.

A press conference to introduce Allen and wish Clay Patterson good luck will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, at the Ivan Crossland Football Complex at the Miami Multi-Purpose Sports Complex at Red Robertson Field.

“Zach is very well qualified,” Dale Patterson said. “It’s a great choice for this job. He has put in his time. He has done everything from being a GA (graduate assistant) and living in a dorm and all the way up to offensive line coach, defensive coordinator and run game coordinator.”

Allen, who recently completed his ninth season on the Golden Norse staff, also has been recruiting coordinator.

That’s a key to the timing of Allen’s promotion: national football signing date is in the next couple weeks.

“We needed to move as quickly as possible,” Dale Patterson said.

Clay Patterson just completed his second season at the Golden Norse helm, guiding them to their first Southwest Junior College Football Conference championship since 2003 and their first bowl appearance since 2012.

The Norsemen defeated sixth-ranked Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College 26-10 in the conference title game.

Then in the inaugural Midwest Classic Bowl game here, they dropped a 30-20 decision to Independence (Kansas) Community College at Red Robertson Field.

NEO finished second nationally and first in the conference in total yards and set several school records in the process.

Patterson earned the conference coach of the year award, joining his uncle, Dale, who won the honor in 1998, 2002 and 2003.

More than a dozen members of the ’17 team were early signees with four-year schools.

NEO was 5-5 in Patterson’s first season, finishing fourth the SWJCFC with a 4-3 record.

As a result, the Golden Norse qualified for the SWJCFC playoffs for the first time since 2012.

Allen's hiring is pending approval from the board of regents.