Bob McNair

Arizona State athletic director Steve Patterson accepted the Texas athletic director job. 

Photo Credit: AP Exchange | Daily Texan Staff

Steve Patterson, the University’s new men’s athletic director, was hired for his commitment to success and impressive resume, according to UT President William Powers Jr. 

Patterson, who will replace current director DeLoss Dodds, was nominated by an eight-person committee that included Powers.

Powers said Patterson was the ideal contender in the selection process.  

“Steve Patterson emerged as the perfect candidate to build on Texas’ athletic success and DeLoss Dodds’ legacy,” Powers said. “Steve helped build an NBA championship team and brought the Super Bowl game to Houston. Far more important, he’s run a winning program at Arizona State that places students first and is committed to their lifelong success.”

Patterson, who started as athletic director for Arizona State in 2012, has a long history of involvement in professional sports. 

From 1989 to 1993, Patterson served as the general manager of the NBA’s Houston Rockets, and oversaw recruitment of much of the 1993-1994 roster that won the franchise’s first NBA championship.

Patterson also helped establish the Houston Texans’ NFL franchise and served as the team’s senior vice president and chief development officer from 1997 to 2003. 

During his Texans tenure, Patterson assisted in planning the construction of Reliant Stadium, established the team’s business operations and brought Super Bowl XXXVIII to Houston. 

“He’s well equipped to handle the challenges at the University of Texas,” Houston Texans owner Bob McNair said. “He is extremely intelligent and poised and will be able to address and handle any challenges that may arise during his tenure. He’ll represent the University well.”

Mark Killian, vice chair of the Arizona Board of Regents, was completely unaware of Patterson’s acceptance of the athletic director position before Tuesday. 

Killian said the great work Patterson had done in Arizona State’s athletic department made his decision to leave even more surprising to him and ASU officials.

“We had such high hopes for Mr. Patterson and what he could bring to the table,” Killian said. “Everyone was ranting and raving about the great job he was doing. I had not heard one complaint about him [during his tenure]. Most comments were that ASU was lucky to have him. That’s the main reason we’re all picking ourselves up off the floor.” 

ASU President Michael M. Crow said that during his time at Arizona State, Patterson put the university’s athletic department on sound financial footing and positioned the department to continue moving forward. 

“I well understand his desire to return to his home state and wish him well at the University of Texas,” Crow said. “We do not intend to slow our forward progress in the least.”

Killian said the board being unaware of Patterson’s procurement by UT is not standard procedure and said he feels Patterson’s decision to accept the UT position is a question of ethics.

“No one has ethics anymore — you sign a contract and it doesn’t mean anything,” Killian said. “I hope for the taxpayers’ sake that Mr. Patterson has some integrity. I wish him the best, but it’s really screwed up things here in Arizona.”

A few more rounds: What Ed Reed signing with the Texans means

In Ed Reed’s first press conference as a Houston Texan, he explained that the main reason the three-year, $15 million deal was not finished sooner was that he had to take his son to his nephew’s birthday party over the weekend.

These past few months seem to have been all about partying for the 11-year veteran after winning the Super Bowl, stirring yet another celebration in the front office and locker room of the Texans organization.

“It is truly a great day for our franchise,” Houston General Manager Rick Smith said during Reed's press conference. “I am truly thankful that this deal came together. I’m thankful and excited about Ed’s contributions to our football team, to our community. I’m excited to watch him and welcome him into our family.”

Smith and CEO Bob McNair immediately made plans to sign Reed after free safety Glover Quin signed a five-year deal with the Lions, sending a private jet to Baltimore for Reed’s visit to Houston on March 14.

Reed must have appreciated the Southern hospitality. And the $15 million.

The Texans worked out a fair deal, not overstepping with a huge contract that comes with the risk of signing a player toward the end of Reed's career. Reed, in return, can’t complain with $5 million guaranteed and the opportunity to play three more years in the NFL.

That’s better than what Brian Urlacher is getting.

The fact that Reed’s contract is for three seasons gives a glimpse at the timetable of hope Rick Smith and Bob McNair have on winning a Super Bowl. This is a team that has been improving incrementally since 2010, and the signing of Ed Reed might be the final piece in getting them there.

Having played in 90 percent of the games in his career, Reed offers stability to a defense that was plagued by the injury of Brian Cushing a season ago. Reed hasn’t missed a game since 2010 and played through a strained MCL in Super Bowl XLVII, recording an interception and a game-saving tackle.

The 34-year-old safety offers experience and leadership to a defense whose starters’ average age was 27 last season (younger than four out of the top five defenses of 2012). What better to help reinforce the idea of winning a championship than the addition of a player who just learned how to get there?

He will be reunited with former teammate Andre Johnson, with whom he won a national championship for the Miami Hurricanes in 2002. The link of leadership between the offense and defense will help keep goals in mind when inner-team rivalries begin during training camp, when starting jobs are at risk.

With the draft coming up, safety is no longer as big a necessity. But with talent such as Tyrann Mathieu available, it wouldn’t be surprising for the Texans to draft a player in the later rounds to take the reins at safety after benefiting from the mentorship of a future hall of famer.

Nevertheless, the elite defense the Texans have been striving toward almost seems complete. The secondary is as strong as it ever has been, the linebacking core will return to its full threat with Cushing back in the lineup and J.J. Watt and Antonio Smith are returning to hold up the front line.

Playing in the Super Bowl is the goal for the Houston Texans, and they may just get there with the help of a player who instead of hanging up the gloves has decided to go for a few more rounds.