EDIT: Since the publishing of this article, various media outlets, including the Longhorn Network, are reporting that a decision (though yet to be official) has been made, and that Steve Patterson will soon be named the Texas Longhorns’ new athletic director.
It’s been believed for several weeks that current West Virginia Mountaineers athletic director Oliver Luck would soon be taking over for retiring DeLoss Dodds in the same role with the Texas Longhorns. However, according to different sources in Austin, including Orangebloods.com and the Austin American Statesman, it seems that things may have shifted a bit over the last couple of days as a new name enters the fold.
Though he downplayed his interest in filling the role last week, Arizona State Sun Devils athletic director Steve Patterson is said to have made a huge impression on administrators at The University of Texas, leading many to believe that the “done deal” for Luck may not necessarily be as done as previously believed and that it’s now a two man race, with both men being considered the two finalists.
Like Luck, who attended law school at The University of Texas, Patterson also has ties to the school, receiving his bachelor’s degree from the school as well as his law degree.
In past interviews, Patterson told the press that his role model is DeLoss Dodds, about whom he stated, “He took a program that was struggling with a lot of folks that were disgruntled and built that into a great sports empire.”
It would only make sense that Patterson would be interested in doing the same, at his alma mater no less, and again like Luck, he certainly has an impressive background.
In addition to top positions in private sports companies, Patterson has years of experience in the world of professional sports, serving as an executive for the Houston Texans, Houston Rockets, and Portland Trailblazers prior to making the jump to the collegiate world at Arizona State. ASU President Michael Crow had the following to say about his brief tenure there:
While he’s new to college sports, he has done an outstanding job making the adjustment and figuring out how to move ASU forward…He’s managing 20 teams, hundreds of athletes and many staff across a very broad dimension of areas, all of which we want to be successful competitively. Our underperformance of the past has been reversed (in football and men’s basketball), and we have a very positive trajectory.
It’s rumored that Texas hopes to make a decision within the next couple of weeks. Based on both Luck’s and Patterson’s resumes, it doesn’t appear that the Longhorns could go wrong with either man.
Once again, stay tuned.