Someone asked Texas’ new athletic director what changes he expected to make moving forward.
Steve Patterson jokingly looked at his watch and said, “How long have I been here, 15 minutes?”
Well, Steve … what are you waiting for?
All kidding aside, Patterson was a smart hire and Texas President Bill Powers appeared downright smitten with the new most powerful man in the Big 12. A Texas guy with Texas ties and a son named Austin turned out to be too good to pass up.
“How do you follow somebody like DeLoss?” Patterson asked the audience before saying his goals are to help the university’s athletes to compete for titles and graduate.
What he didn’t say was, “I need to also continue to make money.” But he didn’t have to verbalize it. We already knew that one.
Speaking of money, I noticed that outgoing AD DeLoss Dodds wasn’t in attendance Thursday, but his fingerprints are all over this place and Patterson knows he’s basically been handed the keys to a Rolls Royce with the understood message of “don’t mess this up.”
Now ask some disgruntled fans about the state of men’s athletics and what they expect from Patterson, and some will tell you they had hoped for the new guy to arrive with a moving van and three complementary one-way tickets out of town for embattled coaches Mack Brown, Rick Barnes, and Augie Garrido.
But in true lawyer fashion, Patterson played his introduction close to the vest, smartly informing the media that he doesn’t anticipate “monstrous” changes within the athletic department.
Translation: I’m going to see how things play out through the rest of the year and evaluate on my own clock. Thanks for the suggestions, fans, but I got this.
He knows the aforementioned coaches have put up solid numbers overall, especially Mack and Augie, who have won championships. But he must decide if the coaches are capable of returning their programs to those thrilling days days of yesteryear.
Patterson met with the entire coaching staff following the press conference, and that included Mack, who took a Twitter pic with his new boss exchanging Hook’ems in the Longhorn Network studios.
So the Patterson era has started. Have fun, Steve, and remember what you’re driving. With the right guy behind the wheel, she handles just fine.