Texas officials have fired men’s athletic director Steve Patterson after a rocky 22-month stint at the school, the Austin American-Statesman reported this morning.
The decision came after a morning meeting between Patterson and university president Gregory L. Fenves, with Patterson being owed the remainder of a five-year contract that runs through August 2019. The Statesman reported that Mike Perrin, a linebacker on the Longhorns’ 1968 football team and member of the UT Men’s Hall of Honor, will be named the interim athletic director.
Texas has yet to make a formal announcement about the decision.
But Patterson’s stint as athletic director has been marked by unrest with fans, boosters and his coach coaches about policies he implemented. He angered boosters by leaving them out of the loop on coaching searches that led to the hiring of football coach Charlie Strong and men’s basketball coach Shaka Smart and further alienated them with a brash management style that included minimal communication with influential donors.
Patterson angered fans by raising 2015 football ticket prices by an average of 6 percent (21.5 percent for some season tickets) with the team coming off a 6-7 record. Texas’ announced crowd for Saturday’s opener against Rice (86,458) was well below the stadium capacity 100,119.
His tenure will be marked by the start of beer sales at football games. The first beers flowed from taps at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium during Saturday’s game against Rice.