UT will phase out Dodds with transition period

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With men’s head athletic director DeLoss Dodds announcing his retirement on Tuesday, the University will begin the search for new athletic director in the coming weeks.

UT spokesman Gary Susswein said the office of President William Powers Jr. will conduct a national search for the new athletic director. The University has not contacted or identified a shortlist of candidates, but will consider applicants’ experience in college athletics.

At a press conference, Powers said the hiring process will be competitive.

“With the assistance of Dodds, we will begin the search for a successor today,” Powers 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.”

Although there is no strict timeline for hiring Dodds’ successor, the University plans on having a transition period for the new athletic director from the time the position is filled until Dodds steps down on Aug. 31, 2014. Dodds said he announced his retirement in advance to allow for such a transition.

Susswein said Powers would consult with the
athletic liaisons on the UT System Board of Regents. Regents Steve Hicks and Robert Stillwell currently serve in the roles. According to system spokeswoman Jenny LaCoste-Caputo, the regents will have to approve the new athletic director’s contract if it is over $250,000. 

Powers said he does not
expect any issues with
the board.

“The Board of Regents, [as with] any appointment at this level, will have to approve it,” Powers said. “That will be a smooth enterprise.”

Last month, the Associated Press reported Regent Wallace Hall and Tom Hicks, a former UT regent and brother to Steve Hicks, looked into replacing Texas football head coach Mack Brown. According to the AP, Hicks and Hall called Jimmy Sexton, agent to Alabama head coach Nick Saban, to gauge whether his client would be interested in replacing Brown at UT. The inquiry was dropped when Brown informed Hicks he was not ready to retire. According to the AP, Powers was not notified about the call.

According to both NCAA rules and the Board of Regents’ rules, the institution president has the authority to appoint a new athletic director or head coach. 

Dodds will remain at the University as a consultant. According to his contract, he will earn a salary of $100,000 in his new role. Dodds currently has a base salary of $550,000. As part of his contract, Dodds will also receive a $1 million annuity payment next year. Susswein said the next athletic director will be paid at market value. Last year, Texas A&M University hired Eric Hyman as its athletic director with a base salary of $800,000.