SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - It is an end of an era for Santa Barbara sports.
Mark Patton is leaving the Santa Barbara News-Press after 44 years of covering local sports.
He and his wife Theresa are moving to Boise, Idaho to be close to their two youngest daughters and five grandchildren.
Patton was honored at the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Luncheon with several current and former coaches and colleagues in attendance.
Santa Barbara County Second District Supervisor Gregg Hart presented Patton with a proclamation recognizing his continuity and caring for local sports.
Patton has spent his entire life at the paper as his dad Phillip Patton was the sports editor in the 1950's and 1960's before passing away in 1971.
Mark Patton has been the beat writer for the UCSB men's basketball team for the last 38 years.
At the age of 5 he attended UCSB's first-ever game at Robertson Gymnasium and says he'll always be a Gaucho at heart.
A 1972 Bishop Diego High School graduate, he attended USC.
He wrote for the Santa Maria Times before being hired at the Santa Barbara News-Press in 1977.
Patton is the author of a fictional book "Boy on A Hill" and plans on writing a second book about growing up in the 1960's with a special needs sister in which he will share memories and anecdotes about her.