AUSTIN, Texas —
The University of Texas passed on making West Virginia University’s Oliver Luck its athletic director Tuesday, choosing Arizona State athletic director Steve Patterson instead.
Patterson accepted an offer after interviewing for the job over the weekend, according to the person with knowledge of the offer who spoke on condition of anonymity because no formal announcement had been made.
Patterson emerged late as a favorite for the job after WVU athletic director Oliver Luck appeared most likely to succeed DeLoss Dodds, who is stepping down at Texas after 32 years.
Patterson will take over the country’s wealthiest college athletic department with an annual budget of nearly $170 million.
He also inherits questions over the job security of Longhorns football coach Mack Brown and basketball coach Rick Barnes and a potential federal civil rights lawsuit from former women’s track coach Bev Kearney, who was forced to resign in January after revelations a previous relationship with one of her athletes.
Patterson has been Arizona State athletic director only since March 2012 and had previously been responsible for the school’s athletics business operations and facilities. Patterson also has Texas ties. A graduate of the University of Texas law school, he also had executive jobs with the Houston Texans in the NFL and the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA.
Texas began its job search last month when Dodds announced he would leave by Aug. 31, 2014. Dodds had said he would stay in the job until his replacement was found, but would step aside into an advising role once that person got to campus.
Dodds and Texas President Bill Powers had been Brown’s staunchest allies through three consecutive sub-par seasons. Brown faced intense criticism and speculation about his job beyond this season when Texas started 1-2, but the Longhorns are now on a 5-game winning streak and sit in first place in the Big 12.