Steve Patterson announced the first big decision of his tenure as Texas men's athletics director this week, helping to introduce Charlie Strong as the next Longhorns head football coach Monday.
He hired the search firm Korn/Ferry to help him find Mack Brown's replacement and appointed an eight-member advisory committee to assist him during the process. But, as advisory committee member Pam Wileford said, this was Patterson's call and his alone.
"Obviously it was Steve Patterson's show to run," said Wileford, former United States ambassador and former chairwoman of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. "We hired him to make these kinds of evaluations and decisions. He did a great job. This was his recommendation and we wholeheartedly endorsed it."
When Brown stepped down last month after 16 years at Texas, Patterson said he did not have any specific names in mind to replace him, only promising to come up with a list of criteria he wanted in the Longhorns' 29th head football coach. Patterson revealed the criteria that led him to hiring Strong on Monday.
"We wanted somebody who was bright and an ethical leader, somebody who was physically and mentally tough, somebody who could really recruit and evaluate talent," Patterson said. "The once that talent is here, somebody who is a great coach and teacher who can really help our young football players grow both on the field and off. We wanted to make sure we had somebody who had charisma and personality, and really can project that personality through all the various media. I think you'll find Charlie does that."
After meeting with Strong at his home, Patterson met with his advisory committee, which included all seven members who served on the advisory committee Texas school president Bill Powers used to hire Patterson last November. It wasn't long before Strong officially accepted Patterson's offer to come to Texas.
"Steve Patterson and Korn/Ferry were charged with finding someone that fit all the criteria and I think they did," Wileford said. "I'm not an expert on X's and O's but we all are interested in kids coming here and growing, as Coach Strong said, into better people. And, yes, we like to win too."