Dodds Announces Retirement

DeLoss Dodds (Photo: Jim Sigmon/UT Athletics)
DeLoss Dodds (Photo: Jim Sigmon/UT Athletics)

At a press conference on the University of Texas campus DeLoss Dodds announced he will step down from his position as Athletics Director effective Aug. 31st, 2014.

“In 62 years, it will be the first time I haven’t had a job,” Dodds said. “[My Wife] Mary and I decided that’s long enough to work. We’ve loved every moment of our 32 years…What a great opportunity for me to be here to work with people of the caliber we have here at the University of Texas."

The now 76 year-old Dodds has served as Texas' AD since 1981 when he was hired after previously serving as AD at Kansas State. Dodds mentioned some of the travels that he and his wife plan to make in his retirement, as well as relaxing at his property in Marble Falls as some of the things he will look forward to in retirement. 

With much of the athletics department staff in attendance Dodds thanked all of his "family" members, as well as university president Bill Powers, and his close friend Donnie Duncan who served as AD at Oklahoma--and was in attendance.

"We've loved every moment of our 32 years here at Texas," Dodds said of he and his wife Mary.

Powers spoke with Dodds at the announcement and commented on the scale of Dodd's accomplishments throughout his career.

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"Deloss’ vision re-shaped UT Austin, college athletics, and the entire NCAA," Powers said. "And DeLoss let me say it has been an honor to work with you and to do that for so many years."

During Dodds' tenure UT athletics teams won 14 National Championships and 108 conference in 9 different sports.

Of the many highlights of his career Dodd’s pointed to winning national championships as some of the best memories, among many.

“I’ll never forget the locker room after the football National Championship and the exchange I had with Vince Young," Dodds said. "Some of things that stand out are the facilities, the Longhorn Foundation, the Longhorn Network, and the Big 12. It’s mostly about kids though. I love to watch kids come in as freshman and then see them leave four or five years later being much different, and much better prepared for society.”

Prior to his creation of the Longhorn Foundation -- the athletic department's official fundraising arm--  in 1986 each sport raised funds individually and raised approx. $250,000 in total each year. The Longhorn Foundation raised $1 million in it's first year, and has since raised over $400 million from more than 13,000 donors,  for student-athlete scholarships, academic services, sports medicine and facilities.

Dodds played a central role in formation of the Big 12 Conference, which began competition in 1996-97. UT has been a member of the Big 12 since its inception, and Dodds' stable vision helped guide the Big 12 through the unstable climate of conference realignment in the summer of 2010.

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In January 2011, UT and ESPN announced the creation of the Longhorn Network, the first sports network devoted to a single school. LHN launched on Aug. 26, 2011, and has since been awarded with eight Regional Emmy Awards.

Dodds received the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame's John L. Toner Award in December 2006 for demonstrating superior administrative abilities and showing outstanding dedication to college athletics, particularly college football.

In February 2007, Dodds was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

In his 32 years on the job Dodds has seen a lot of change both at UT and in the NCAA landscape.

"You go from a $4 million budget to a $170 million budget, a staff of 60 to a staff of 350, the technology has changed," Dodds said. "I think the great thing about Texas is the passion was here, and the expectations were here when I came. I don't think that has changed. I don't think the kids of changed. You still see the high quality young people coming into our program. On the business side, the NCAA side, TV's influence on our lives has changed things immensely, and the money has absolutely changed things. You try to keep it in perspective is that its about the kids and not about the money, but on side you have to generate the money to afford to do the things for the kids."

The process of finding a new AD will begin according to Powers, who said that Dodds will be a part of that process as well as key people in the athletics department who will contribute, and  that because Dodd's is not immediately leaving there is no immediate timeline for how long that process will take.

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Dodds said that has contemplated this decision for "a year or two", and that he discussed it thoroughly with both his wife and president Powers.

"I wanted it to be an appropriate thing at the right time for the University, and the right time for my family," Dodds said. "I feel so comfortable with our folks on staff, this thing can run with out me."

Dodds said he feels good about the decision to step down.

“The reality will come when somebody else walks and sits in my desk," Dodds said. "I feel good about the university and the athletics department and I feel good that I was part of it and making it what it is today. I’m going to be a longhorn the rest of my life.”