Texas hires Steve Patterson from Arizona State as new AD

Erich Schlegel

The Texas alum leaves for the biggest program in the country.

Update: Texas makes it official.

"Steve Patterson emerged as the perfect candidate to build on Texas' athletic success and DeLoss Dodds' legacy," school president Bill Powers said in a statement. "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."

The University of Texas is hiring Steve Patterson as its new athletic director, according to Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel and others, prying the former NFL and NBA team exec from the AD position at Arizona State. According to Thamel, a Texas official says the deal is "done."

West Virginia's Oliver Luck had long been considered the top candidate for the position since outgoing AD DeLoss Dodds announced his retirement. Ohio State's Gene Smith and Arkansas' Jeff Long were also mentioned as candidates, but publicly took their names out of the running.

Patterson has ties to the state of Texas, from both his education to his previous experience as an executive for three different Houston pro sports franchises.

His most important move will soon be the decision of what to do about longtime head football coach Mack Brown, who's both embattled and the leader of a team that's 5-0 in Big 12 play.

Burnt Orange Nation ponders what made the difference for Texas:

One of the key differences is one that hasn't made many rounds -- Patterson doesn't have the history of ethical violations of the sort that caused Luck to get booted from the negotiations for West Virginia's third-tier media rights because of conflicts of interest and impacted his congressional run.

House of Sparky on his Arizona State legacy:

Patterson's decision to leave Arizona State comes after a productive two years at the university. Patterson has helped extend the Sun Devils' relationship with Nike, and his commitment to building new athletic facilities has inspired promise in the Arizona State fan base. It's unclear how current plans to renovate Sun Devil Stadium will proceed, but Arizona State can expect a temporary setback while it looks for a replacement at the top of the food chain.

From his Arizona State bio:

Patterson spent nearly a quarter of a century as an innovative and successful executive in the NFL with the Houston Texans, in the NBA with the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers, and in professional hockey with the Houston Aeros. He has built championship teams and designed, financed, built and run stadiums and arenas.

Born and raised in Beaver Dam, WI. Patterson attended the University of Texas, graduating with honors earning a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration in 1980. He graduated from UT's Law School in 1984.

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