Texas men's AD Steve Patterson is "on the clock" after less than three weeks on the job, as he already is "faced with the overwhelming task" of replacing football coach Mack Brown, according to Kirk Bohls of the AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN. Brown announced Saturday that he is stepping down after 16 seasons following UT's game against Oregon in the Valero Alamo Bowl. Patterson "knocked one out of the park" while he was at Arizona State when he hired football coach Todd Graham, who "remade the football environment" at ASU in two years and reached this year's Pac-12 title game. However, it is "one thing to fire ticket managers and secretaries and golf coaches," but is "entirely another to hire a football coach at the place that immortalized D.X. Bible and Darrell Royal." Patterson "might think he’s immune to pressure," but he is now "swimming in college sports’ biggest fishbowl" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 12/16). Brown said that he will "remain employed" at UT as a special assistant to President Bill Powers following the Alamo Bowl. Powers yesterday said that Patterson "will be in charge of selecting Texas' next head coach, and they've yet to decide whether a search firm will be hired." Patterson acknowledged that Texas' hire "will need 'extensive' experience coaching in college." Patterson: "College football is a different enterprise than the NFL. There are far different requirements of a college coach." Meanwhile, Powers indicated he had "no contact" with either Alabama coach Nick Saban, who agreed to a contract extension with his current school over the weekend, Saban's "agent or any intermediaries." Powers: "All of those rumors of lunches and meetings were simply unfounded." (ESPN.com, 12/15).
SETTING THE STANDARD: In Austin, Brian Davis wrote Brown has "set an incredibly high standard" during his time at the school. UT's next coach "must get the fans excited again, mollify demanding boosters, connect with the state’s high school coaches, compete in a difficult recruiting landscape and contribute to the omnipresent Longhorn Network." Davis: "Oh, and win" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 12/15). In Dallas, Chuck Carlton wrote the "key choice may be finding the coach who can handle the most duties associated with the job." UT "doesn’t just need a guy with a system, or a recruiter or charisma with alums or organizational skills." It needs "all of it" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/15). ESPN's Brett McMurphy said the big challenge for the next UT coach is "how they can deal with the media, how they can deal with the boosters." McMurphy: "Texas is a unique situation. You've got to have somebody that can deal with the commitments and demands of the Longhorn Network. How much that will play into the decision I'm not sure, but certainly that is a consideration" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 12/15).
THE EYES OF TEXAS: YAHOO SPORTS' Dan Wetzel wrote UT "is a great job," and is the "kind of job that almost can't be screwed up." UT has "every imaginable resource: money, facilities, media attention, fan interest, institutional commitment, a beautiful campus, renowned academics," and the "charisma of Austin." UT is "swinging a corked bat, which changes the definition of a home-run hire" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 12/15). In Austin, Cedric Golden wrote, "Expect Texas to make a splash with the new hire even though it’s obvious that the guy will be the fans’ second choice" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 12/15). Meanwhile, YAHOO SPORTS' Pat Forde wrote the question surrounding the coaching hire is "whether this public and, at times, ugly separation with Brown will dissuade" some candidates. UT politics is "often a theater of the absurd -- but when it trickles down to the college football level, that might be more drama than a lot of alpha dog coaches want to be involved with." School administrators "may have some explaining to do to wary job candidates" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 12/14).