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Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Patterson will have help in finding coach

By Max Olson

AUSTIN, Texas -- For new athletic director Steve Patterson, the first step in starting Texas’ head coaching search was seeking the help of the people who were smart enough to hire him.

Texas announced Tuesday that Patterson is bringing an eight-person advisory committee and the Korn/Ferry executive recruiting firm into the mix to find the Longhorns’ successor to Mack Brown.

Patterson
New Texas athletic director Steve Patterson will have an eight-person panel helping him search for the Longhorns' next football coach.
That advisory committee is made up of the eight people who helped convince UT president Bill Powers to hire Patterson in November. Included in the group are the following:
These eight advisors were brought on Oct. 14 as Powers’ committee to hire a new athletic director. The presumed longtime frontrunner, West Virginia’s Oliver Luck, got an interview. So did Patterson, who blew the committee away and was the surprise hire.

Why does this matter? Patterson knew what he was signing up for when he accepted the job. He and all other candidates had to realize making a decision on Mack Brown and finding his replacement might be required this winter.

The eight-member committee trusted Patterson was the right guy to make the call and handle that situation, and he’ll have to do so early in his tenure. Patterson’s first day at Texas was Nov. 25, but he’s no stranger to hiring coaches as a longtime sports executive.

Now he and Powers will have eight people they trust in their corner as they work to find Texas’ first new head coach in more than 16 years.

Don't expect Patterson go public with much during this process from here on out, though. He acknowledged Sunday that deals like this one require a high priority on privacy and a bunker mentality.

I think that's the only successful way to have a search process,” Patterson said. “I'm not going to be sitting in front of you guys everyday talking about who I had a phone call with.

“At the end of the day, there's been a lot of malarkey in the press over the last couple of weeks. I think Bill and I have had lunch with about a dozen coaches or something, it's been reported one time or another. We haven't talked to anybody or had anything go on. I think you have to have the ability to have a private conversation and come out of it with the best coach you can get. That's the only way you're going to get there.”

Powers will give his input throughout, but he made it clear this is going to be Patterson’s hire. He know now he’ll have plenty of help, but now the pressure is on him.