Should UT Hire Mack Brown as Athletic Director?
Is the best choice for the University of Texas' now-vacant Athletics Director position a former coach Steve Patterson helped push out the door?
Steve Patterson has officially been let go from his duties at the University of Texas. He held the job for 22 months. Patterson had three years left on his five-year contract, for which he was to be paid a guaranteed $1.4 million per year. And there's a stockpile of reasons the school to justify the firing.
The People vs. Steve Patterson
Patterson's rocky road started when he forced Mack Brown out the door. Now, the ghost of Mack Brown has returned to force Patterson out the same door.
Patterson's downfall began when the UT football program had to settle to get Charlie Strong after make a large and public push to try and hire Nick Saban. While Charlie Strong has had little success so far, the choice was not a fireable offense.
After the 2014-2015 basketball season, Patterson fired Rick Barnes and hired Shaka Smart. But Patterson will not be around to see how that decision plays out.
Patterson had developed a reputation as cheap after he cut the free meals for the Texas coaching staff and, most recently, was part of the decision to charge the bands of Texas' other Big 12 schools $100 per seat at football games. Patterson was a business man in an athletics role.
The tensions boiled over last week when someone flew the banner below over the Sept. 12 Rice game in Austin.
Patterson also wanted to play a home game in Mexico City. With ideas like that, he probably already has an interview with Roger Goodell to work in the NFL.
The refusal to work out a deal to play past rival Texas A&M also made fans as restless as the play for the Longhorns on the field. Already, the team has used two quarterbacks and two offensive coordinators in two games this season.
Following the news of Patterson's firing, it was announced that former player Mike Perrin will take over as the Interim Athletic Director.
When schools hire coaches and ADs with big personalities, they are just hoping for the best that that particular brand is going to fit what they do. It's hit or miss on whether a guy who has a brash personality will do well with a particular set of people. In this case, the UT boosters hated dealing with Patterson.
When firings take place, teams and schools usually go overboard and overcompensate, hiring the antithesis of the predecessor. When the Cowboys parted ways with the hard-nosed Bill Parcells, the next man in was marshmallow Wade Phillip.
Texas Tech went from an unbalanced risk-taking coach with a blow-it-out offensive system in Mike Leach to the balanced old man in Tommy Tubberville. Then, they went the opposite of Tubberville with the hiring of Kliff Kingsbury.
The University of Texas has already gone from business-minded Patterson to former player Perrin as the interim.
Patterson Out, Brown In?
The Texas athletic department will now look for a man who knows the rich history of UT athletics. Someone who has experience in the program or at the University. They will look for someone with a personality to schmooze the boosters; a politician with a rich history in athletics. I think Texas will hire a man that is football oriented. All athletics are important but football makes the money.
There is only one man who fits all of these categories. That man is Mack Brown.
That's right the former coach being hired as the AD (a la Barry Alvarez in Wisconsin) would be so Texas.
Think about it. He's a great recruiter. He would give killer campus tours and his fundraising would be top notch. He is the opposite of Steve Patterson. It all makes perfect sense, and it is already being discussed as a legitimate option.
Texas already feels like they did Mack Brown a disservice by ousting him unceremoniously after a few mediocre years. I think they now feel it is an appropriate time to return to the glory of just above average that Mack Brown put forth during his reign as The King of Austin. And people are already chiming in.
There are also people who are in favor of the move, like this guy.
The most important angle here is that Charlie Strong basically came in and has cleaned house and moved on from the Brown era with a vengeance. He has dismissed more than 10 players that Brown recruited. It's not clear if Texas is going to move on from Charlie Strong, but it's hard to imagine he and Brown coexisting in the same habitat.
All that said, I think Mack Brown is the wrong choice to clear up the dysfunction that is happening with the UT athletics programs...which is exactly why I'm hoping it happens.
Long live the Matador.