The University of Texas is hiring Steve Patterson as its new athletic director, according to Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel and others, prying the surprise name away from the same 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 after 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.
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.
As President of the Portland Trail Blazers, The Rose Garden and Rose City Radio from 2003-07, Patterson was responsible for all business and basketball operations for the team and arena, as well as local media outlets. He refined his skills as a turnaround specialist, while garnering national recognition for his player acquisition skills when he took over the team’s General Manager duties. Patterson engineered a record six draft day trades that resulted in the selection of NBA Rookie of the Year and three time NBA All Star Brandon Roy and fellow All Rookie 1st team, NBA All Star and All NBA member LaMarcus Aldridge.
From 1997-2003, Patterson served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer of the Houston Texans NFL franchise where he led Bob McNair’s successful effort to acquire a National Football League franchise and Super Bowl XXXVIII for Houston, Texas. Patterson was responsible for the establishment of the team’s business, legal, media and political operations, as well as the development, design, finance and construction of Reliant Stadium.
Prior to joining the Texans, Patterson was the President, General Manager and Governor of the Houston Aeros hockey team. For his efforts there, he was named the 1995 winner of the Andy Mulligan Trophy as the IHL’s Executive of the Year. In addition to his roles with the Aeros, Patterson also acquired and served as President and Partner in Arena Operating Company, which managed and operated Compaq Center, Houston’s home of the Rockets, Aeros and Comets. He coordinated the six-year, $ 7.5 million naming rights and sponsorship deal with the Compaq Computer Corporation and the $ 5 million renovation of the arena.
As General Manager of the Houston Rockets from 1989-93, he was the primary architect of the 1993-1994 Houston Rockets squad that captured the first NBA World Championship in franchise history, signing or trading for all the team’s players and coaches. Patterson also led the club’s successful bid to host the 1989 NBA All-Star Game, which held the all-time attendance record of 44,735 for 21 years.
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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