MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Arizona State athletic director Steve Patterson has joined West Virginia’s Oliver Luck as finalists for the Texas job, according to reports by Orangebloods.com and the Austin-American Statesman.
If Luck is the choice, an announcement on the replacement for retiring Texas AD DeLoss Dodds is not expected before Saturday’s West Virginia-Texas football game in Morgantown.
Patterson reportedly made a strong impression on the University of Texas advisory committee during a weekend interview. Luck also underwent an extensive interview Saturday, the same day WVU defeated TCU 30-27 in Fort Worth.
The eight-member committee, which is assisting UT President Bill Powers in the search, will not interview any more candidates, according to the Austin newspaper.
At stake is not only a chance to oversee the most lucrative athletics program in the NCAA, but also a hefty raise for the chosen candidate, considering Dodds is earning $1.1 million this year. Patterson’s contract calls for a $365,000 base salary with widespread incentives tied to student-athlete APR, postseason appearances by all Sun Devils teams, and multiple fundraising objectives. Luck’s base salary is $550,00 with incentives capped at $150,000 annually.
Both Luck and Patterson have law degrees from Texas along with strong ties to the state. Patterson has worked in the front office with the NBA’s Houston Rockets, the NFL’s Houston Texans and with the Houston Aeros minor league hockey team. He has been AD at Arizona State since 2012.
Reports last week out of Arizona indicated Patterson turned down the Texas job, making his continued interest in the Longhorns is surprising to some staffers at his current school. On Tuesday, reporter Jeff Metcalfe of AZCentral.com tweeted: “If Steve Patterson goes to Texas, will be direct opposite of what everyone was led to believe internally at #ASU last week.”