Interim Texas men’s athletic director Mike Perrin reversed one of the controversial decisions made by his predecessor Steve Patterson on Monday and rehired John Bianco, the school’s longtime sports information director who was fired in June.
Bianco will resume his duties with the football program immediately, said Kevin Mortesen, Texas’ chief communications officer. Bianco will hold the title of associate athletics director and have the same salary of approximately $125,000 annually.
The longtime UT employee was one of coach Charlie Strong’s confidants. When Bianco was fired, he was given five minutes to clean out his desk. Strong was not consulted about the decision, sources said.
“Difficult for me to talk about what happened in June, because I wasn’t here, nor was the current athletic director,” Mortesen said. “I would say a change in leadership is predominately what has changed. Certainly, football is important, and it’s a very difficult job. (Bianco) definitely has the trust and support of the coaching staff, particularly coach Strong.”
In a statement, Perrin said, “John has vast experience and a high level of mutual trust with the coaching staff.”
Perrin and Mortesen both publicly thanked Scott McConnell, who did double duty as the football and men’s basketball SID, in Bianco’s absence. McConnell got a bump in title and raise as a result. Fellow SIDs Brian Davis, Susie Epp, Travis Feldhaus, Joe Hernandez and David Wiechmann’s work “has been inspiring,” Perrin said.
UT officials also announced that Sean Cartell, who currently works for the SEC office, has been hired to handle media relations for women’s basketball.