Steve Patterson selected as UT’s athletic director


AP Exchange

Arizona State athletic director Steve Patterson accepted the Texas athletic director job. 

Anthony Green

After a month-long search, the University has hired Steve Patterson to replace DeLoss Dodds as the new men’s athletic director.

Patterson, who has been Arizona State University’s athletic director since March 2012, was selected by an eight-member advisory committee, which included former and current members of the UT System Board of Regents and President William Powers Jr.

Patterson and West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck were finalists for the position, but Patterson beat out Luck in the interview process conducted over the weekend, according to UT spokesman Gary Susswein. 

Under his new five-year contract at UT, Patterson will receive an annual salary of $1.4 million as well as performance bonuses of up to $200,000 per year. The performance bonuses are based upon whether the athletics department is financially solvent and whether it can avoid any NCAA violations, Susswein said. 

Dodds currently collects a full, annual salary of $1.1 million, including bonuses.

Mark Killian, vice chair of the Arizona Board of Regents, said he was angry about Patterson’s decision and said he was completely unaware of Patterson’s acceptance of the athletic director position before the announcement Tuesday.  

“I think it’s just disgusting, but that’s the world of sports,” Killian said. “[Collegiate] institutions who have the money can afford to hire whoever they want, and I’m not critical of that,” Killian said. “But when someone makes a commitment, they should honor it. I was raised that your word is [your] bond.” 

Killian said he disapproved of the financial motivations he thought were behind Patterson’s decision.

“We’ve devolved in our society – that money speaks louder than words,” Killian said. “And that’s a damn shame.”

Patterson earned his undergraduate degree at the McCombs School of Business and graduated from the UT School of Law. Patterson’s son, Austin, is an advertising senior at UT.

Because Patterson’s salary as athletic director will exceed $250,000, the appointment is subject to approval by the Board of Regents. Regent Steven Hicks, who was on the search committee, said Patterson is the ideal candidate for the position. 

“Steve Patterson is the perfect candidate to build upon UT’s successes,” Hicks said. “His track record of achievements with finances, facilities, personnel and business operations in high achieving athletics programs makes him a perfect fit for UT, and I’m especially proud that he has UT and Texas roots.”

Dodds announced his impending retirement
in October.