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AUSTIN - The search for a new athletic director at the University of Texas is over.

Steve Patterson, 55, who has been the athletic director at Arizona State since March 2012, has accepted the job.

The Associated Press says Patterson accepted an offer after interviewing for the job over the weekend. The announcement was posted on the university's official athletics site Tuesday afternoon.

He will replace DeLoss Dodds, who is stepping down after 32 years.

Patterson received both his bachelor's and law degrees from University of Texas. He also had executive jobs with the Houston Texans in the NFL and the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA. He replaced his father when he took over with the Rockets in Houston.

'Steve Patterson emerged as the perfect candidate to build on Texas' athletic success and DeLoss Dodds' legacy,' said UT Austin President Bill Powers in a statement. 'Steve helped build an NBA championship team and brought the Super Bowl game to Houston. Far more important, he's run a winning program at Arizona State that places students first and is committed to their lifelong success.'

He will take over the country's wealthiest college athletic department, which operates with an annual budget of nearly $170 million.

He also inherits questions over the job security of Longhorns football coach Mack Brown and basketball coach Rick Barnes and a potential federal civil rights lawsuit from former women's track coach Bev Kearney, who was forced to resign in January after revelations of a relationship with one of her athletes.

The appointment is subject to approval from the UT System Board of Regents, which is scheduled to meet Nov. 12 and 13. Patterson would begin at the university later this fall.

Powers plans to formally introduce Patterson at a news conference on campus this week.

E-mail griba@wfaa.com

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