In an emotional press conference during which the voices of Texas Longhorns athletic director DeLoss Dodds and president Bill Powers both sounded shaky with emotion, Dodds announced on Tuesday that he will retire effective August 31, 2014.
"I love The University of Texas, and I love the people. We've had a great run," said Dodds, who is now 76 years old. "I have been contemplating this decision for awhile. Bill Powers and I have talked it over, and this is something I am ready to do at this time."
Dodds was adamant that the recent struggles of the football program did not have an impact on his decision -- he said that he would have called the press conference to announce his retirement at this time even if the Longhorns were 4-0.
Asked what his greatest accomplishment during a tenure that currently sits at 32 years, Dodds' response was simple: "Survival." He later noted, "This place can run without me."
According to Powers, it has been running with integrity under Dodds.
"Our Longhorn teams have regularly won conference and national championships, produced the highest quality student-athletes and - like DeLoss - displayed integrity on and off the field," Powers said. "He embodies all that is great about the university, the state of Texas and college sports."
The nationwide search for the Texas athletic director will being Tuesday, said Powers, who will still rely heavily upon Dodds to help him in those efforts. Despite talk that Powers and company want a replacement by December, the university president said that there is currently no timetable for that search.
"When the new person gets here, getting the future started as early as we can will be helpful," Powers said.
The next athletic director will also have significant input in any coaching changes, Dodds said.
"Anything this department does significantly over the next year needs to have the hand of the new person in on it," he said.
So far, however, Powers said there have been no inquiries made or interest expressed to possible successors for Dodds.
And it remains to be seen how a nearly 11-month transition period willl work in terms of a possible coaching search in the offseason. Does Dodds fade into the background when the new athletic director comes on board or does he remain the figurehead until next fall? Or somehow manage both?