Former Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds led the Longhorns to unprecedented heights during his 32 years at the helm of the athletic department. Rodolfo Gonzalez/American-Statesman

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Former Texas AD DeLoss Dodds honored Tuesday

Longhorn Foundation raising money for endowed scholarship to encourage former athletes to come back, finish degrees

Posted October 18th, 2016

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Former Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds rarely gives interviews these days and prefers not talking about himself or his legacy.

But when told that school officials wanted to honor him and wife Mary Ann, Dodds said, “I’m not comfortable with this, but I’m going to endure.”

Hundreds of Dodds’ close friends and UT supporters filled Moody Theater on Tuesday for an event honoring one of the most powerful figures in collegiate athletics. The Longhorn Foundation has created the Mary Ann & DeLoss Dodds Legacy Campaign to support former UT athletes who wish to return to campus and finish their degrees.

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The Foundation aims to raise $775,000 to complete one fully endowed scholarship. As of Tuesday, school officials had raised $275,707 from 120 donors.

Asked about his lifelong work, Dodds said it was about “seeing young men and young women go out into life and be successful in every way. I think that’s what you look for, and that’s the most important thing. That’s why were here. That’s why we did what we did. That’s the goal and that’s the return.”

Former Texas coach Mack Brown, who spent all 16 seasons at UT working for Dodds, said the school wouldn’t be what it is today without the former track standout from Kansas State.

Dodds served as UT’s athletic director from 1981 to 2013. During that time, the Longhorns’ athletic department became the largest revenue generator in the nation.

“It was funny when we first got here, I said, ‘DeLoss, just give us a chance, give us some money.’ He told everybody after that he gave Mack and Sally an unlimited budget and we went over it,” Brown said. “That’s when I knew we were going to get along.

“We had some hard discussions sometimes,” Brown added. “We never ever really disagreed on anything. Everything that we talked about, if it was important enough to me and it was about winning and it was about student-athlete, he gave it to us.”

Dodds said he received a call from current AD Mike Perrin on Monday before the Big 12 announced it was not going to expand.

Asked what advice he would give Perrin, Dodds said, “Tough times don’t last. Tough people do. That’s my advice. Mike’s gonna be fine. Texas will be fine. Is a great place. It can be down. It can be up and down. But generally, Texas will be Texas.”

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com.

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