University of Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds confirmed Tuesday that he will step down next year.
Dodds, 76, made the announcement in a press conference on the UT campus.
“This is a big day for me. I thought a lot about it,” Dodds said. “We’ve loved every minute of it, loved every minute of the 32 years we’ve been in Texas. It’s the best thing for the university and the best thing for this athletic department.”
Dodds, who has been the school’s athletic director since 1981, will stay on through Aug. 31, 2014. He said he will be available to help the department on a part-time basis through 2020.
Dodds said the timing of Tuesday’s announcement will give the university and the program time to find new leadership and to work with him on the transition.
A nationwide search for Dodds’ replacement will begin immediately with his assistance, university President Bill Powers said. Powers, calling Dodds “one of the giants in intercollegiate athletics,” said he would like to hire a replacement in the next few months but also said there is no deadline.
“DeLoss’ vision reshaped UT-Austin and reshaped college athletics,” Powers said. “Thank you for all you’ve done, God bless you, godspeed and hook ’em, my friend.”
Dodds said the football program’s struggles since 2010 did not play a role in his decision to retire. He said he had been thinking about stepping away “for a year or two … It’s been in my mind a long time.”
Dodds also said that any coaching changes that might be on the horizon should be handled by his successor.
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