Though he’s unhappy about the way the football season has begun, Texas men’s athletic director Steve Patterson said Tuesday — previous to Charlie Strong’s announcement that he was stripping Shawn Watson of his play-calling duties — that he wouldn’t meddle into the coach’s staff decisions.
“Look, I’m not gonna coach the football team,” Patterson said. “That’s the football coach’s job.”
Patterson’s comments came amid speculation about the job security of offensive play-caller Shawn Watson. Including Saturday’s 38-3 loss at Notre Dame, Watson’s offense has scored a total of 20 points and two touchdowns in the past three games. On Monday, Strong said he would be evaluating the performance of Watson and other assistants and acknowledged “we can’t go through another season with a bad offense.”
Patterson, who held a news conference to unveil an economic impact report commissioned by Texas athletics, said he had spoken with Strong earlier in the day.
“Obviously, nobody’s happy with how the game went,” Patterson said. “He’s probably less happy than just about everybody.”
Patterson said making staff changes is Strong’s “prerogative,” and are out of Patterson’s purview.
Saturday’s loss dropped Strong’s record at Texas to 6-8 and dampened optimism for his second season. The Longhorns were never competitive, falling behind 14-0 after one quarter and getting out-gained 527-163.
“It was not the performance that we’d hoped for,” Patterson said. “There was a lot of excitement going into the game. If you look at the 10,000 folks that we had at the Cubs game (on Friday) chanting ‘Texas Fight’ back and forth across the outfield. There was an awful lot of burnt orange at Notre Dame Stadium. There was an awful lot of excitement going into the game. Sometimes you have a bad day. (Notre Dame is a) real good football team, too.”