Patterson emerged as the favorite early Tuesday morning and agreed to take the job a few hours later. He will receive a multi-year deal starting around $1.4 million per year. Patterson's hire will be formally announced later this week.
"It's done," said the Texas official.
Patterson and West Virginia AD Oliver Luck were the final two candidates for the Longhorns job, the official said. Luck had been the reported favorite for weeks, but the official said that Patterson's edge came from his "marketing experience" and "business experience."
Patterson, 55, holds both an undergraduate and a law degree from Texas. While he was still relatively anonymous as a collegiate administrator, his work in professional sports -- in the NFL with the Texans (1997-2003), and in the NBA with the Rockets (1989-93) and the Trail Blazers ('03-07) -- impressed school officials. His jobs with those franchises were senior vice president and chief development officer, general manager and team president, respectively.
Anonymous reports emerged out of Arizona last week saying that Patterson had spurned the Longhorns to stay with the Sun Devils. But according to the official at Texas, the school had not yet formally interviewed Patterson nor offered him the job.
Since then, says the official, the Longhorns have made formal contact and extended him the position. Patterson will be responsible not only for deciding the fate of football coach Mack Brown, but also for managing a budget of more than $150 million, as well as overseeing the building of a downtown arena for the basketball team.
The job of Longhorns AD is widely considered to be one of the most coveted positions in college sports.