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November 5, 2013

Patterson hired as Texas' next AD

Steve Patterson, a Texas alum and law school graduate, blew away a UT advisory committee with his vision for the athletic department and will now succeed DeLoss Dodds as AD.

Patterson's marketing and management skills and no-nonsense approach - he helped oversee changing out nearly 100 people in two years at Arizona State - proved to be the difference.

Patterson was the choice over West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck, the other finalist for the job.


Luck was widely seen as the front-runner for the job heading into the weekend, because of the relationship he had established with UT president Bill Powers over the years and while working together in the Big 12.

But a source close to the situation said Powers and UT regents, who have been at odds, "are aligned" on the hiring of Patterson.

Patterson was the subject of a report last week saying he had turned down the Texas AD job. But he interviewed with an advisory committee assisting in the Texas AD search on Sunday and blew the committee members away, sources said.

Many involved in the Texas athletic director search feel a culture change is needed in the UT athletic department and that Patterson has the personality and the loyalty to Texas - as an alum - to carry it out the right way, the source said.

I was told no one from the athletic department - no coaches or current AD staff - were consulted in the hiring of Patterson. Mack Brown learned of Patterson's hire on Twitter, I'm told. There was no internal email that went out to the department yesterday announcing Patterson's hire.

Many have asked what Patterson's hire will mean for Mack Brown. I've been told, let the season play out.

Patterson has only been an athletic director since March of 2012 (at Arizona State), but he has years of front office experience with the Houston Rockets, Houston Texans and Portland Trailblazers.

Patterson hired Rudy Tomjanovich as the coach of the Rockets and helped build the roster that won world championships in 1994 and 1995.

As a senior vice president and chief development officer of the Texans, Patterson is widely credited with keeping Reliant Stadium as close to on time and on budget as any project that size in NFL history.

Patterson was the president and general manager of the Portland Trail Blazers from 2003-07. He brought selected LaMarcus Aldridge and said in 2010 he would have drafted Kevin Durant over Greg Oden if he had still been the GM for the 2007 draft.

Powers, a former dean of the UT Law School, had two finalists in Patterson and Luck who are UT law graduates to pick from.

Patterson and Luck also both have resumes that include work in professional sports in Houston.

Patterson, 55, was in upper management with the Houston Rockets, the Houston Aeros minor league hockey team, the Houston Texans and Portland Trail Blazers before starting his own business (Pro Sports Consulting) in 2007.

Patterson was named the athletic director at Arizona State in March 2012, succeeding Lisa Love. Patterson was the school's chief operating officer for athletics when ASU botched the hire of June Jones before using the Eastman & Beaudine search firm to select Todd Graham as football coach.

[Join the discussion: Why did Texas hire ASU's Patterson over Oliver Luck?]

Patterson is at the forefront of many significant capital projects at ASU, including the renovation of the football stadium.

That project is at a critical juncture as ASU tries to secure naming rights for the stadium.

Patterson is also leading negotiations for a new site for baseball and the creation of a 425-acre Sports Facilities District adjacent to the university in downtown Tempe.

Luck, 53, has also held significant positions in professional sports before being named the AD at West Virginia in 2010.

As the president and general manager of the Houston Dynamo, Luck presided over back-to-back MLS titles in 2006 and 2007.

In the 1990s, Luck was general manager of the Frankfurt Galaxy in the World League of American Football and GM of the Rhein Fire after the WLAF was rebranded as NFL Europe.

In 2001, Luck became the chief executive officer of the Houston Sports Authority, which helped provide oversight for the financing and construction of Reliant Stadium (Texans) and the Toyota Center (Rockets) during his tenure.

Luck is also a former Houston Oilers quarterback and the father to Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck. Those personal storylines and all of his business relationships in the state should help Luck connect with UT boosters, sources say.

Those who know both Luck and Patterson say Luck has the more engaging personality for schmoozing with boosters. While they say Patterson has a more cerebral, no-nonsense approach that also appealed to committee members.

"It's down to these two candidates, and it's going to be a difficult decision," one source close to the situation said Monday night. "Both are incredibly qualified."

Reports out of Arizona last week, said ASU's Patterson turned down the Longhorns AD job. But UT officials said the job had not been offered at that time.

Sources say even though the impression was given by those reports that Patterson was out of the running, he obviously wasn't.

And now it appears it could be a matter of time before Patterson is announced as Texas' next athletic director.




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