There have been rumors for weeks, but now it is official; Texas Longhorns athletic director DeLoss Dodds, despite initially denying the rumors, has announced that he plans to retire on August 31, 2014, after 32 years in the position. However, chances are that he will step away from his athletic director duties and into another position with the university long before the date he announced.
There is no doubt that Dodds has been the driving force in building the Longhorn athletic department into a collegiate empire. In his 32 years in Austin, Dodd’s teams have won a total of 108 conference championships and 14 national titles. He is also responsible for making the Longhorn brand the most profitable in college sports for the last eight years as well as the creation of the Longhorn Network.
Nevertheless, though the Longhorns have won two national titles in Volleyball and Men’s golf, the big three sports have underperformed over the last three seasons, so Dodds and many of his coaches have been feeling the heat.
The question is, will he really wait until August to step down?
I don’t think so.
August has been the date that many have had circled because it is then that Dodd’s contact ends and he will collect a million dollars as outlined in his current contract. However, with the turmoil currently surrounding the 2-2 football program and the belief that Mack Brown‘s job could be in jeopardy if the ship isn’t righted before December, that change could happen sooner than Dodds is letting on.
The 76-year-old has stated all along that he does not want to go through the hiring of another football coach and it’s long been believed that Dodds and Brown would leave together.
There is a lot of smoke out of Austin that the search for a replacement AD has already begun. There is even more smoke surrounding Mack Brown’s future in Austin. We very well could be in the final months of Brown’s tenure with the Longhorns. If that is truly the case, then look for Dodds to step down as athletic director and into a consultant role within the program in December, the end of football season, not in August as he is claiming.
By stepping into another role at this season’s end, Dodds would be clearing the way for his replacement to begin assembling a new football staff, if it truly is Brown’s last season. In fact, very few head coaching jobs on the Forty Acres are safe if a new sheriff heads to town which could create a roller coaster of a ride for Texas fans over the next several months.
Come January, don’t be a bit surprised if the Texas Longhorns athletic department is already well into the process of a complete and total changing of the guard.