Report: ASU AD Steve Patterson accepts Texas job

Patterson will be switching from "throwing up the fork" to the "hook 'em horns" hand gesture. - @SunDevilRocky Twitter

Arizona State Athletic Director Steve Patterson is leaving the university for the same position at Texas.

Update (11:56 AM MST): Here's Arizona State President Michael Crow's official statement on Steve Patterson taking the Texas AD job:

During his stay at ASU, Steve Patterson has positioned Sun Devil Athletics to continue its forward momentum well into the future. He first became involved with ASU three years ago to put the university's athletic department on a sound financial footing and that is exactly what he has done. I well understand his desire to return to his home state and wish him well at the University of Texas.

ASU's varsity teams rank high across the board in their achievements on the field of competition and in the classroom. With the opportunity to win Pac-12 and national championships and to renovate Sun Devil Stadium, the position of vice president of athletics at ASU will be attractive to a wide range of candidates across the country. We do not intend to slow our forward progress in the least and have appointed Senior Vice President James Rund as interim athletic director while we conduct a national search. Dr. Rund will be capably assisted by a staff of senior associate athletic directors who have been part of the ASU team from 10 to 30 years.

Update (11:35 AM MST): Arizona State has appointed Senior Vice President James Rund as their interim athletic director, according the Arizona Republic's Jeff Metcalfe.

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After more than a week of speculation about a possible move, Arizona State Athletic Director Steve Patterson has accepted the same position at the University of Texas, according to a report from orangebloods.com columnist Chip Brown.

Brown received word from a "high-level" source that Patterson and Texas have agreed to terms on a contract that will bring Patterson to the Lone Star state to replace retiring athletic director DeLoss Dodds.

Last week, FOX Sports Arizona's Tyler Lockman reported that Patterson had turned down the Texas athletic director position to remain at Arizona State, but Lockman later tweeted that his sources may have been deceived.

According to Brown, Patterson interviewed with a Texas advisory committee on Sunday and impressed the committee to the point where he overtook front runner and West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck for the position.

One factor that played into Patterson's hiring is his history with the school. Patterson is a graduate of the University of Texas and he has also received a law degree from the university.

Another possible motivation for Patterson is the prestige of the Texas job. Texas has one of the most storied athletic histories of any institution in the country and Patterson has proven at Arizona State that he can help rebuild an athletic department.

At Arizona State, Patterson's salary is $450,000 per year. Current Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds makes $1.1 million. Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel is reporting that Patterson has accepted a multi-year deal in which Patterson will earn $1.4 million per year.

Dodds is set to retire in August of 2014 and one of Patterson's first decisions as athletic director will mirror one of the first calls he helped make at Arizona State.

Texas Longhorns' football coach Mack Brown has come under scrutiny this season for his failure to live up to expectations even though the Longhorns are 6-2 and undefeated in Big-12 play. Patterson will be expected to decide the fate of Brown among other coaches currently employed at Texas.

Though Patterson was not acting as athletic director when Todd Graham was hired, the new Texas AD played a role in the selection of Arizona State's head football coach. It's possible that if Brown is ousted at Texas, Patterson could extend an offer to Todd Graham.

Patterson's decision to leave Arizona State comes after a productive two years at the university. Patterson has helped extend the Sun Devils' relationship with Nike and his commitment to building new athletic facilities has inspired promise in the Arizona State fan base. It's unclear how current plans to renovate Sun Devil Stadium and other projects will proceed, but Arizona State can expect a temporary setback while it looks for a replacement at the top of the food chain.

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