"I want to reach out to the entire Longhorn nation."
Texas Longhorns interim athletic director quickly followed through on the statement from his introductory press conference, meeting with a host of groups on Saturday before and during the football game against the California Golden Bears.
Part of his efforts to repair fractured relationships with coaches, donors, faculty, and season-ticket holders, the personable Perrin is set out to prove that he's the anti-Steve Patterson. Where the outgoing athletic director was seen as cold, impersonal, and arrogant, Perrin is alreay providing evidence that he's connected to and willing to connect with the people who matter, even if they're just everyday fans.
First, it was an appearance the Longhorn alumni band rehearsal, where he pledged a donation to a scholarship fund in honor of a former band director who passed away recently. Then a stop by the tailgate for players' parents, an interview with The Alcalde, some time with the Texas Exes and letterwinners. Perrin even showed up to welcome head coach Charlie Strong at the Stadium Stampede to demonstrate his support in person.
But he wasn't done yet -- an appearance on the Longhorn Network Gameday set was next, followed by a picture opportunity with national champions Jonathan Scott and Kasey Studdard before heading over the Texas Law tailgate. From there, it was on to the press box to speak with the media and announcers calling the game, something that Patterson never did in nearly two years on the job.
Since he was the honorary captain for the game, Perrin then went down to the field, stopped to talk with former head coach David McWilliams, and even said hi to Edith Royal.
The only real complaint against Perrin was that he didn't win the coin toss. Who wants to thrown down a few bucks to buy the domain firemikeperrin.com?
Overall, though, the impression for most was a positive one:
Mike Perrin has done more for Texas athletics in one day than Steve Patterson did in 2 years.— Greg Toohey (@gregtoohey) September 19, 2015
A season ticket holder who interacted with Perrin agreed:
"I was pretty impressed," the longtime season ticket holder and former trumpet player told Sports on Earth before Saturday's kickoff. "He seemed down to earth. He's an insider, someone that understands the University of Texas. He was down to earth and just seemed like a real guy."
So Perrin is clearly had at work putting "all the BBs back in the box," drawing on the famous quote that Darrell K Royal dropped on former head coach Mack Brown when he arrived in Austin.
Patterson sure did spill them everywhere with a quickness.