DeLoss Dodds announced his plans to step down as University of Texas men's athletics director Tuesday afternoon. Here is a sampling of what was said about him and the legacy he'll leave behind:
Bill Powers, University of Texas president: "In the fall of 1981, I was here at the University. All we knew was he was a former track star and coach at Kansas State. He reported here in 1981 as the new athletic director. How many of us in the media or here at the University would have suspected that on that day, 32 years later, you're retiring as one of the giants in college athletics?"
"DeLoss' vision reshaped UT-Austin. It reshaped college athletics, the entire NCAA and DeLoss, let me say, it has been an honor to work with you and to call you my friend."
"DeLoss embodies all that is great about our university, the state of Texas and college spors. He's laid the foundations for generations of athletes to come here from here on out... You have the world of athletics and the University of Texas your greatest gifts: vision, innovation and integrity."
"I've been in a lot of meetings with DeLoss. He's actually very quiet in meetings but when he does speak you can hear a pin drop. He has that kind of respect among ADs and coaches. That signals the kind of impact with which he held. I think they are huge shoes to fill. Somebody who comes in to try to fill them will have to understand you can never replace someone. What you do is build on the foundation they've made."
Donnie Duncan, former Oklahoma athletic director: "The impact is huge. The word I kept hearing was 'kids'. We talk about conferences and the NCAA and restructuring and all this kind of stuff but he always comes back to the kids. You’ve got exponentially, a number within a range, of people DeLoss has impacted who have gone on to live better lives. People have asked me for a long time to summarize what my thoughts are about him. The formation of the Big 12 conference had its moments where we were all tested. The one thing that was consistent through all that was DeLoss Dodds tells the truth every time."
Eddie Reese, Texas men's swimming and diving coach: "My swimmers come up in the athletic offices and it’s like Friend City. Everybody knows him. Everybody talks to him. Success, if anything, is how you treat people, whether you see them in a work environment or a class environment. If you want to keep kids in your program, you must work at saying good things to them. It’s the number of touches, by that, I mean, the number of good things you say to them. Kids don’t hear that at school. They don’t hear it in athletics. They don’t hear it at home. Because they’re in front of a computer or they’re out doing something. It’s gotta come from somewhere… we’re top of the line at that."
"We’ll never be able to [put his legacy into words] because we’ll never have another DeLoss Dodds. The secret stuff that he’s done and how he’s stepped up and laid it on the line."
Jody Conradt, former head women's basketball coach: "When I came to the University of Texas, Coach Royal had been AD, Bill Ellington served in that role and DeLoss was the first hire who was not connected to football or who had not been here in another role. He had been an athletic director. He had been with the Big Eight conference. He brought a totally different mindset and set of skills to this institution. I think he assessed the environment. I think he was a quick study in terms of what needed to happen. He did much of what Mack [Brown] did as football coach. He brought all these factions that had gone in various directions together. We became a team and that team had, as its number one goal, to be good for the University of Texas."
"What I remember most is he’s given a very high-profile, powerful job and he was so low-key. He was very calm. He stepped back, assessed the situation and didn’t make rash deciisons but looked at the whole picture and then started to move the university of texas. the calmness, the wise counsel, those were the qualities I appreciated then and continue to appreciate today."
Mack Brown, Texas head football coach: "DeLoss has been the best athletics director in the country for a long, long time and built a model athletics department here. He is absolutely as good a boss as anybody could ask for, and he really cares about the coaches, kids and everybody in all of our programs. DeLoss was a great athlete himself, successful coach and directed a program that achieved tremendous success on and off the field. He's a man of great character who accomplished all of that while maintaining great integrity and honesty, just the perfect model for an athletics director. We are so lucky to have him.
“DeLoss is a great man, great leader and great friend. I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to work for him for 16 years and know I speak for many when I say I'm happy he will be helping the department's transition to a new athletics director and will be on board here to support the department after that."
Rick Barnes, Texas head men's basketball coach: “No one person has seen college athletics change more than DeLoss Dodds. The way that he handled and adapted to all these changes has separated him from everyone else in the business. Honestly, if the NCAA is going to name trophies after people for their accomplishments, they should think about putting his name on their award of the highest honor. Because there is no doubt that DeLoss has been the best – the very best – at his job for a long period of time.
“What I most admire about DeLoss has been his approach to the job. Being the athletics director here at Texas was his job, but it has never been his identity. DeLoss saw the big picture better than anyone. That was apparent the first time I met him, and it’s never changed, along with a tremendous passion for The University of Texas.
“We all know the expectations when it comes to winning here at Texas. Trust me, no one wanted to win more than DeLoss Dodds. His track record speaks for itself. But he always emphasized doing things the right way while protecting the integrity of The University of Texas.”
Augie Garrido, Texas head baseball coach: "It is well known that DeLoss Dodds’ legacy includes national championships in almost every sport, fantastic facilities, the Longhorn Network, countless USA Olympic medal winners, and one of the most financially successful athletic departments in the country. But what is less known about him might be more important than all of the above. He lives by the University code of conduct and its core purpose. The code of conduct states: ‘The core values of The University of Texas at Austin are learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, individual opportunity, and responsibility. Each member of the university is expected to uphold these values through integrity, honesty, trust, fairness, and respect toward peers and community.’ The core purpose is: ‘To transform lives for the benefit of society.’
“He quietly funded fully-equipped study halls, hired the best academic counselors in America, provided fifth-year scholarships, unlimited tutors and mentors, and whatever necessary to help the student-athlete get a degree from The University of Texas.”
Ricky Williams, former Texas running back: "DeLoss Dodds was one of the people that made my experience at The University of Texas so memorable. And it's not just me and my family, I know I speak for thousands of Longhorn student-athletes who had the opportunity to be around him during their playing days and beyond when I say that. He's not only a great guy who is unbelievably supportive of all of us, but he also did everything in his power to provide a first-class experience in every area that touched our lives. DeLoss was there for us in victory and defeat, brought in the best staff in America to coach and develop us and provided us with the resources that helped us achieve on the field, in the classroom and in life. I have great appreciation for everything he's done for me."