SBD/November 8, 2013/Colleges

New Texas AD Patterson Not Anticipating Significant Changes In Athletic Department

One of Patterson's first duties at Texas will be addressing the future of certain coaches
Incoming Texas men's AD Steve Patterson at his introductory press conference Thursday "faced a bevy of questions about the changes, both short- and long-term, that could be coming for Texas," according to Max Olson of ESPN.com. Patterson's answer "was consistent: He's not interested in making changes just to make changes." Patterson said, "I don't see, as I have other places where I've taken over organizations, that we need a dramatic turnaround. I don't anticipate monstrous changes to the department." The most "obvious, immediate issue facing Patterson will be the future" of football coach Mack Brown and men's basketball coach Rick Barnes. UT President Bill Powers "insisted the future of Texas coaches and their programs were not discussed during Patterson's interview with him and the search committee Sunday." Patterson "did not address those topics Thursday, other than to say he needs to spend time evaluating what he is inheriting when he begins the job before he reaches any conclusions." Patterson's hiring will "not be made official until it receives the approval of the UT System Board of Regents during its meetings Nov. 12-13." After that, he said he expects to take over for current men's AD DeLoss Dodds in the "next couple of weeks." He plans to "return to Arizona State next week to meet with ASU president Michael Crow and wrap up his immediate duties before making the move to Austin" (ESPN.com, 11/7). In Austin, Randy Riggs notes Patterson "was vague on answers regarding several other topics, noting he hadn’t had time to study the issues that include a future basketball arena, renewing competition with Texas A&M and UT’s role in possible future conference realignment." Meanwhile, Powers said that he "isn’t concerned about Patterson’s relative lack of experience in collegiate athletics administration." But Patterson "admitted to feeling a 'little trepidation' at the prospect of following 'a legend, and probably the premier practitioner of his art'” (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 11/8).

THE EYES OF TEXAS
: In Austin, Kirk Bohls writes Patterson on Thursday "came off as more down-home than uptight." Bohls: "Patterson said all the right things, except he said nothing about wholesale changes in coaches or staff. But the bet here is he will. Sooner than later. Gentlemen, start your resumes." Arizona State Associate VP/Public Affairs Terri Shafer said that Patterson "made more than 100 personnel changes in an athletic department that barely numbers 180." That is "monstrous turnover." Patterson said, "We did make changes at ASU. I think it was a culture that, in some respects, had to change." At UT, Patterson "needs to know the fans' patience is short." There "clearly is a new sheriff in town." A source said Dodds had "zero" input in the search for his replacement (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 11/8). ORANGEBLOODS.com's Chip Brown wrote, "How much change is coming? I was told no one from the athletic department -- no coaches or current AD staff -- were consulted in the hiring of Patterson" (ORANGEBLOODS.com, 11/7).
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