There may be a significant transition period between fired Texas Longhorns athletic director Steve Patterson and his replacement, with football letterman Mike Perrin expected to hold the interim role until president Greg Fenves finds Patterson's successor.
The Austin American-Statesman was the first to report the news of Patterson's dismissal, as well as Perrin's expected new role at Texas. Multiple subsequent reports confirmed the news, though as of early Tuesday afternoon, the school had not yet confirmed the firing of Patterson or Perrin's hire.
Who is Mike Perrin?
A three-year letterman on the Texas football team from 1966 to 1968, Perrin played linebacker and defensive end for the Longhorns after his prep career in Cameron. Not only was Perrin an All-SWC performer, he was also a leader in the Texas Cowboys service organization and an Academic All-American who went on to earn post-graduate scholarships from the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.
After graduating with a BA in Mathematics in 1969, Perrin went to UT Law, finishing his Juris Doctorate in 1971. By 1987, he was named as a "comer" in the new establishment of Texas power brokers by Texas Monthly:
Leader of younger generation of politically active plaintiff's attorneys. Also could go on "Couples" list with wife, Melinda, daughter of former attorney general and Chief Justice John Hill.
Perrin also remained active as an advisor on campus academic endeavors and to Texas athletics as member of the Council for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, earning induction into the Texas Hall of Honor in 2010 and receiving a Presidential Citation for that work from Bill Powers in April.
Now practicing law in Houston, Perrin is a noted personal injury attorney.
Helping preserve an important Longhorns tradition is another major part of Perrin's legacy at Texas. When the university announced a five-year suspension for the Cowboys in 1995 after Gabe Higgins died in a drowning accident following his intiation, Perrin bought Smokey the Cannon to preserve the tradition of firing it as Texas moved from the Southwest Conference to the Big 12.
At the time, numerous other student organizations were competing to earn the right to fire it following the Cowboys' suspension. But Perrin wanted to make sure that the Cowboys would have a chance to re-claim it after the group became active once again following the suspension, so he contacted an old friend who had been a member of the Silver Spurs to see if that service organization would be willing to take care of the cannon in the interim.
"It's a big responsibility, and I wanted an organization that had experience with a truck and a trailer," Perrin told The Alcalde. "The Spurs tow Bevo, so I knew they could handle Smokey."
And so it was that Perrin leased the cannon to the Spurs for $1 a year until the Cowboys returned to campus life.
Now Perrin will oversee a much bigger tradition -- that of Texas Longhorns athletics. How long he will remain in the position is unclear, but a source told ESPN that it could be several months until the Longhorns hire the program's next athletic director because of conflicts created by the football season. However, Texas was able to hire Patterson away from Arizona State in November, so it's possible that Perrin's tenure could be a short one.