Welcome to Austin, Steve Patterson.
We think you’ll find our diverse, progressive city to have more than its share of high drama (have you met Rick Perry and Wendy Davis?), great restaurants (try Lotus and Evangeline Cafe, and we trust you already love Tex-Mex), super parks (brave Barton Springs if you dare), more music than you could ever fit on an iPod (we almost have more statues of musicians than football players) and lots of squabbling.
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WELCOME TO TEXAS. YOUR PLATE IS ALREADY FULL.
Incoming Men’s Athletic Director Steve Patterson not only has big shoes to fill. He’s also got major questions to address at Texas:
1. Will Mack be back?
No one questions Mack Brown’s contributions — two national championship games, one title, a return to national prestige — but he’s 28-18 overall and only 16-15 in Big 12 games since the BCS title game loss to Alabama. At 6-2, Mack’s seat isn’t as hot now as it was at 1-2, but his and the football program’s future is Topic No. 1 with many fans.
2. Time for a men’s basketball change?
Rick Barnes is as tenured as Brown at Texas, and like Mack, he helped put Texas basketball on the national map. But it’s been awhile since T.J. Ford and Kevin Durant starred here, and the downward-spiraling Horns haven’t been NCAA tourney-relevant since 2008 — and they missed it completely last year.
3. What about Augie?
Texas’ venerable baseball coach is 74. Like Brown and Barnes, he made the Horns a major national player again — winning national titles here in 2002 and 2005, plus making five other College World Series trips. But baseball has fallen on harder times recently, missing out on the NCAAs the past two years and not even getting an invitation to last year’s Big 12 postseason tournament.
4. Don’t mess it up.
You’re going from an Arizona State athletic budget of $63 million to Texas’ $167 million. DeLoss Dodds has handed you the keys to a Ferrari. Will you keep the program humming, even if there are major coaching changes, both competitively and financially?