After weeks of speculation on who would replace longtime athletic director DeLoss Dodds, the school has announced that current Arizona State University athletic director Steve Patterson will take the position at Texas.
Here are five things you need to know about the Longhorns’ newest athletic executive.
Connection to Texas
While Patterson, 55, was born and raised in Wisconsin, the athletic director attended UT as an undergraduate student between 1976-1980. In addition, he graduated from UT’s law school in 1984. Patterson’s son, Austin, is also a student at Texas.
Patterson has lived in the Lone Star State on numerous occasions during stints with multiple Houston professional sports teams.
Resume at Arizona State
Patterson is coming to Texas after numerous years with the Sun Devils. He was the chief operating officer for the Sun Devil Athletics and managing director of Sun Devil Sports Group before becoming athletic director. In that position, Patterson was responsible for Arizona State’s athletic business operations, development and stadium operations.
In March 2012 he took the role of vice president of University Athletics and athletic director. There he controlled many major ASU developments. Along with leading a $300 million renovation of the Sun Devil football stadium, Patterson also developed the new site for a baseball stadium and the creation of a 425-acre sports facilities district near the university.
Experience past ASU
While Texas’ new AD has had only limited time at collegiate level athletics, he has worked with four different professional sports teams since 1989. In that year, Patterson became the general manager for the Houston Rockets, where he stayed until 1993. With the Rockets, Patterson was responsible for gathering the franchise’s first NBA Championship team along with hosting the 1989 NBA All-Star game.
After his stint with the Rockets, Patterson became the general manager and chief operating officer of the Houston Aeros hockey team, before joining the Houston Texans in 1997. With the Texans, he helped lead the effort to become an NFL franchise and build Reliant Stadium while also negotiating for Houston to be the home of Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004.
Patterson’s final professional experience before his time in Arizona was as president of the Portland Trail Blazers. While he led only mediocre teams in Oregon, he drafted and started the NBA career of All-Star and former Longhorn LaMarcus Aldridge.
Late addition to the AD race
Last week, Patterson reportedly denied all rumors that he was interested in the role while Texas officials stated they had yet to even interview him or offer him the job. However, after interviewing for the position this past weekend, Patterson emerged as the new frontrunner.
The frontrunner to take over for Dodds, who announced in October that he would retire after 32 years at Texas, was originally current West Virginia AD Oliver Luck. Many expected Luck to be offered the job after interviewing with Texas officials, but Tuesday afternoon he was told that Patterson would be given the offer instead.
Patterson comes to the 40 acres at the same time Texas athletics has taken a plunge from its tall expectations. One of his biggest decisions will be the fate of head football coach Mack Brown and basketball coach Rick Barnes, who have both had diminishing seasons in the past few years.
Meanwhile, Patterson will be a vital part of the decision to build a new basketball arena if the Frank Erwin Center gets torn down as a part of the plans for the new Dell Medical School. In addition, Patterson will be responsible for the largest athletics budget in the nation at more than $160 million.