In a swanky suite nestled in a stadium he’s transformed, DeLoss Dodds announced he will retire from the men’s head athletic director post at the end of August.
Dodds said he is retiring after 32 years on the job because he wants to spend time with his wife, Mary Ann Dodds, travel and experiencing the world.
“[Mary Ann] and I need to go to Tuscany,” Dodds said. “We need to see the leaves turn. There’s a lot we have to live because we haven’t lived because we’ve worked.”
Tuesday’s press conference came after representatives from the University and UT Athletics strongly denied rumors of Dodds’ impending retirement for months.
Since Dodds took the helm of the program, the Longhorns have claimed 14 national championships and 108 conference titles in nine different sports since Dodds took the job.
But the announcement comes in the middle of a 24-18 football record over the past four seasons, well below normal program standards. By announcing his resignation early on, Dodds said he hopes to facilitate a smooth transition into new leadership.
“My intent in all of this is that it’s the best thing for the University, and it’s the best thing for the athletic department,” Dodds said. “Announcing this early gives the University time to find new leadership, and it gives that leadership time to work with me on a transition. I’ll play whatever role needs to be played in that.”
Though the University has not been in contact with any potential replacements, the hunt for a successor to Dodds is currently underway.
“With the assistance of Dodds, we will begin the search for a successor today,” President William Powers Jr. said. “People around the country have enormous respect for UT and its athletic department. I have no doubt this will be a highly sought-after job.”
Head football coach Mack Brown said in a press release that Dodds had an unparalleled influence on the athletic department at UT.
“[Dodds] has been the best athletics director in the country for a long, long time and built a model athletics department here,” Brown said in the statement. “He is absolutely as good a boss as anybody could ask for, and he really cares about the coaches, kids and everybody in all of our programs.”
Dodds said the reality of his decision has yet to set in.
“I feel good about it,” Dodds said. “The reality will come when somebody else comes in and sits at my desk. I feel good about the University. I feel good about the athletic department and I feel good that I was part of it and making it what it is today. I’m going to be a Longhorn the rest of my life.”
Powers said Dodds had a significant impact on campus and the athletic department.
“Over the last three decades, our teams have not only won conference championships and national championships, but they have produced the highest quality of student athletes who, like [Dodds], embody all that is great about our University, the state of Texas and college sports,” Powers said. “He laid the foundation for generations of Longhorn athletes to come.”