In mid-September, a report surfaced that DeLoss Dodds would be stepping down from his long-time Texas post in the coming months, a report that the athletic director vehemently denied.
Following up on speculation that surfaced Monday, that’s exactly what Dodds has done.
At a press conference Tuesday, Dodds announced that he will officially retire as UT’s athletic director in late August of next year, although he could very well step aside well before then. After that, it’s likely he will take on some type of advisory role within the athletic department.
The 76-year-old Dodds stated that he began seriously contemplating retirement back in June, and that he’d actually been thinking about it on some level for a year or two, suggesting his very vociferous denial two weeks ago was leaning toward the hollow end. By announcing his plans to step down 11 months from now, Dodds said it will allow the university plenty of time to find new leadership.
“I love The University of Texas, and I love the people. We’ve had a great run,” Dodds said in statements provided by the school. “I have been contemplating this decision for a while. (University of Texas President) Bill Powers and I have talked it over, and this is something I am ready to do at this time. …
“I promised to let people know well in advance. I want the university to have the appropriate amount of time to find a successor, and I want to ensure that the athletics department can prepare and execute a succession plan for new leadership.”
Dodds has been the head of UT athletics since 1981 and, while he’s come under fire in recent years, is widely viewed as one of the most powerful men in college athletics and helped guide Longhorn men’s sports programs — UT has a female AD for women’s sports — to a stunning run of success over the past three decades.
…DeLoss Dodds has guided The University of Texas to national acclaim and championship success. Under his guidance, the Texas Longhorns have won 14 National Championships and 108 conference (Southwest Conference and Big 12) titles in nine different men’s sports.
Football’s run to the BCS National Championship during the 2005-06 season underscores, arguably, the most successful period in UT Athletics history.
Football’s fourth national title at the 2006 Rose Bowl highlights a decade of excellence that featured at least 10 victories in nine consecutive seasons, five-straight bowl victories and appearances in the national title game in 2006 and 2010.
Additionally, Men’s Basketball advanced to a school-record 14 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, including a Final Four appearance in 2003, Sweet 16 appearances in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2008 and three Elite Eight appearances in 2003, 2006 and 2008. Baseball has advanced to the NCAA Men’s College World Series seven times since 2000, winning national championships in 2002 and 2005.
As for those who claim that he made this decision now because of the state of the football program, Dodds stated that he would be doing this if the Longhorns were 4-0 or 0-4.
And, as for just who will replace a man Powers described as “one of the giants of college athletics,” that decision will be made by the president, who said he will lean heavily on Dodds for guidance in finding his successor. The two say they hope to have a new AD in place in a couple of months.
If/when the new AD is hired before Dodds’ contract runs out Aug. 31, he will step aside and into whatever his new role will be.
One of the names most prominently mentioned as Dodds’ replacement is West Virginia’s Oliver Luck. The father of Andrew Luck told WVMetroNews.com today that he would not reciprocate interest if Texas called.