Steve Patterson is Texas' new athletics director

Word broke from multiple outlets late Tuesday morning that Arizona State athletics director Steve Patterson has been hired to the same post at Texas.

As recently as last Monday, West Virginia athletics director Oliver Luck appeared to be the heavy front-runner for the job, but that changed swiftly Tuesday morning when word leaked that Patterson had overtaken Luck as the favorite to land the job. Shortly thereafter, those same outlets reported the deal had been done and Patterson was the new athletics director at Texas.

Patterson had reportedly turned down the job last week, and had those inside the Arizona State athletics department believing he would stay.

Luck was indeed the early favorite, but Patterson blew Texas' seven-member advisory panel away in the interview process, according to Chip Brown. Austin American-Statesman writer Kirk Bohls reports Paterson's starting salary will be "over $1 million" (Pete Thamel reports it will be $1.4 million). His predecessor, DeLoss Dodds, made $1.07 million; Patterson's salary at Arizona State was $365,000. 

Like Luck, Patterson is a graduate of the Texas Law School - UT president Bill Powers is a former dean of the Texas Law School - and, like Luck, he has extensive experience in the Houston professional sports scene. Patterson worked in the front office of the Houston Rockets (where he helped the team to back-to-back NBA titles), minor league hockey franchise Houston Aeros (where he was named IHL Executive of the Year) and served as the chief development officer of the Houston Texans in their infancy days before serving as president of the Portland Trail Blazers from 2003-07. After Portland, Patterson worked as president of Pro Sports Consulting from 2007-11.  

Patterson has been with Arizona State since 2011 and took over as athletics director in 2012. 

As athletics director, Patterson has undertaken a major renovation to Sun Devil Stadium and was in the process of negotiating a new facility for the Arizona State baseball program. At Texas, Patterson will be responsible with managing a budget that has swelled beyond $150 million, a football program that may feel the need to jump back into the facilities arms race in the not-too-distant future, oversee the construction of a new downtown basketball arena, as well as manage the looming possibility of changing long-held regimes in football, men's basketball and baseball. 

Patterson has not hired a coach at Arizona State - though he was the athletics department's chief operating officer when Arizona State nearly hired June Jones away from SMU and then pulled Todd Graham away from Pittsburgh - but he did hire eventual two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich as general manager of the Houston Rockets. 

A native of Beaver Dam, Wisc., Patterson earned his bachelor's degree in business administration at Texas in 1980 before graduating from UT's Law School in 1984. 

No timetable for a formal announcement and press conference has been set. As always, we'll update you with more information as it becomes available.  

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