Mike Perrin's contract as Texas athletic director has been finalized and will run through the 2017-18 school year. Perrin's agreement as interim AD was initially through August 2016.
Any concerns I have about athletic director Mike Perrin (and UT president Greg Fenves) being rookies at their jobs will be answered, in large part, based on how the impending football staff changes are handled.
If Charlie Strong gets the staff he wants - the way it should be at a school with Texas' resources - then, it will show Perrin and Fenves have the ability to back up their voiced support for UT's football coach.
I'm told adding TCU's Sonny Cumbie to lead the offense would be Plan A. On defense, adding Strong's former DL coach at Louisville - Clint Hurtt - now an assistant coach with the Chicago Bears would also be part of Plan A.
If Strong doesn't end up with the staff he wants, then Strong, Perrin and Fenves will all suffer consequences.
But I like the move making Perrin the AD through 2017-18, because, at 69, he's working his butt off trying to straighten out this wayward athletic department. And I'm told Fenves' urgency in making Perrin the AD was to give Perrin full authority in making major decisions that could change the complexion of the department in the near future.
It matters to him. He is personally invested, and he's smart like a fox from his lawyering days, when he had to get information out of people in depositions. I'm told Perrin's office has stacks of legal pads from interviews with those in the department.
I'm told there's a key meeting with all the leadership at UT in the next month that will help determine the course of action regarding the fate of the Erwin Center and the when, what, where, how in replacing it (whether the city or county would be involved or private investors, etc., or if Texas would have to foot the whole bill of a new arena - estimated at $450 million.
Once Texas' financial obligations for the hoops arena are determined, then Perrin will be able to determine when UT will be able to get going on the south end of DKR.
My Story On Perrin Being Named AD ...
Mike Perrin, a defensive lineman at Texas under Darrell Royal who went on to become a successful Houston attorney (and one of those so-called UT big-money donors), has been named the Longhorns' athletic director through the 2017-18 year.
Texas president Greg Fenves named Perrin interim athletic director in September, replacing Steve Patterson, who was fired 22 months into a six-year, guaranteed contract. Perrin's interim agreement was through August 2016.
“Since Mike became interim AD, he has proved to be a resourceful and valuable asset to the athletics department, improving relationships with our fans and alumni,” said Fenves, who took over as UT president in June, succeeding Bill Powers.
“His experiences as a student-athlete and a successful lawyer and businessman have given him unique insight that complements his strong leadership. I am confident Mike will continue bringing positive change and pride to our Men’s Athletics Department.”
Fenves and Perrin, both in the first year of their new jobs, have expressed support for football coach Charlie Strong, who is 10-14 in two seasons and figures to make some staff changes after Saturday's game at Baylor.
“I am excited to continue the work I’ve begun over the past three months in moving Texas Sports forward, and I thank President Fenves for this opportunity,” Perrin said.
“I am already working closely with coaches in all sports to provide the support they need to win on the field and prepare their students for life off the field. And I have been humbled and overwhelmed by the backing I’ve received from alumni, faculty and fans.”
Perrin was a defensive end under Royal in the 1960s while earning a bachelor’s degree in math and a law degree from UT Austin. While practicing law in Houston as a partner in multiple firms, Perrin served on UT's Athletics Council for Women and led fund-raising campaigns at the law school.
He has received the university's Presidential Citation and is a member of the Texas Men's Athletics Hall of Honor.