MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Arizona State’s Steve Patterson will be hired as athletics director at Texas, ending a search that began with West Virginia’s Oliver Luck as the frontrunner.
The University of Texas announced the hire Tuesday afternoon. It becomes official once UT regents approve the move during their meeting Nov. 12-13.
“Steve Patterson emerged as the perfect candidate to build on Texas’ athletic success and DeLoss Dodds’ legacy,” said UT President Bill Powers. “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.”
ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, citing an unidentified source, reported that Luck “thought he had it” Monday night. So why was Luck bypassed?
Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com tweeted: “Oliver Luck’s close relationship with UT president Bill Powers made him the early front-runner. But Patterson blew advisory committee away.”
Another tweet from Brown: “Steve Patterson’s management and marketing skills and no-nonsense approach to making tough decisions gave him the edge.”
Patterson would replace longtime Longhorns AD DeLoss Dodd, who is retiring after three decades.
The 55-year-old Patterson and Luck, 53, interviewed Saturday before an advisory committee that was assembled to assist Powers in the search. Both men hold law degrees from Texas and have ties to professional teams in the state.
“It is Oliver Luck’s job to lose,” a source told Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News last week. “He’s No. 1 and No. 1A on their list. Then there’s everybody else.”
Within minutes of Tuesday’s breaking news, Carlton tweeted: “Steve Patterson went from candidate to frontrunner to new AD at Texas in about 2 days, source confirms. Great interview I’m told.”
Luck became West Virginia’s athletics director in June 2010, overseeing a department that generated $80 million in 2012, ranking 28th nationally. That’s less than half the $163 million Texas brought in last year, which was more than $21 million better than No. 2 Ohio State.
While Patterson has only been an AD since March 2012, he previously served as COO of Sun Devils athletics and possesses NBA and NFL management experience, working as GM of the Houston Rockets and senior vice president of the Houston Texans.