Patterson, 55, was the choice of University of Texas president Bill Powers and the eight-man search committee that looked at several candidates before narrowing down to Patterson and West Virginia athletics director Oliver Luck. Luck was presumed by many to be the favorite, but Patterson appeared to make up ground, and potentially even win the job, with a strong interview.
Patterson was a graduate of the Texas business management program, then returned to the 40 Acres to graduate from law school.
According to Patterson's bio at ASU, he took over the Arizona State athletics director job in March of 2012, after serving as the school's chief operating officer and the managing director of Sun Devil Sports Group. Per his bio, that made him "responsible for all ASU Athletic Department business operations, development and operation of current and new sports facilities." That included the renovation of the football stadium, negotiations for a new site for baseball and the creation of a 425-acre Sports Facilities District adjacent to the university in downtown Tempe.
Texans would probably know him better as the general manager of the Houston Rockets from 1989-1993, when he acquired many of the pieces that helped the Rockets make a two-year championship run. After his time with the Rockets, he had a stint as the president, general manager and governor of the Houston Aeros hockey team, earning the Andy Mulligan Trophy as the IHL's Executive of the Year in 1995.
The senior vice president and chief development officer of the Houston Texans from 1997-2003, Patterson led Bob McNair's effort to land an NFL franchise for Houston. Patterson also helped to land Super Bowl XXVIII for the city, and aided with the development, design, finance and construction of Reliant Stadium.
From there, Patterson worked with the Portland Trail Blazers from 2003-007, serving as both president and general manager of a team in turnaround mode, trying to shed its previous "Jail Blazers" designation. Patterson made a record six draft day trades that eventually turned into NBA All-Stars Brandon Roy and Lamarcus Aldridge.
Before coming to Arizona State, Patterson served as president of Pro Sports Consulting, which provided services to companies, government entities, universities and individuals that operated or looked to acquire sports properties, to design, finance, build and operate sports facilities and to maximize those companies revenue.
Patterson will take over the job from current Texas athletics director DeLoss Dodds, who announced his retirement earlier this fall.
Per the Austin American-Statesman, Patterson will make more than $1 million per year.