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Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds steps down after 32 years

DeLoss Dodds (right) will reportedly step down as Texas athletic director after 32 years in the role. DeLoss Dodds (right) will reportedly step down as Texas AD after 32 years in the role. (Gary Miller/FilmMagic)

A few weeks after denying reports of his retirement, Texas athletics director DeLoss Dodds formally announced on Tuesday that he will step down from his position after 32 years.

The news was first reported on Monday by Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesmen.

At a press conference, Dodds told reporters that he'd been mulling the decision to retire for some time.

"I love The University of Texas, and I love the people. We've had a great run," said Dodds, 76. "I have been contemplating this decision for awhile. (University of Texas President) Bill Powers and I have talked it over, and this is something I am ready to do at this time."

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"I promised to let people know well in advance. I want the university to have the appropriate amount of time to find a successor, and I want to ensure that the athletics department can prepare and execute a succession plan for new leadership," Dodds said.

Dodds will stay on as athletic director through Aug. 31, 2014, and he will remain active in the transition in finding his replacement.

Powers said the impact of Dodds on college athletics cannot be overstated.

"DeLoss Dodds is one of the giants of college athletics," Powers said. "His vision reshaped The University of Texas and the entire NCAA, and it's been an honor to both work with him and call him a friend for so many years."

Dodds' decision came two weeks after OrangeBloods.com reported Dodds would step down at the end of the year. Texas denied that report to SI.com's Andy Staples, with Longhorns associate AD for communications Nick Voinis telling Staples, "Three words: Absolutely not true."

Dodds' retirement comes at a tumultuous time in Texas football. The Longhorns are 2-2 with losses to Ole Miss and BYU, putting pressure on longtime coach Mack Brown's job security.

In a statement, Brown credited Dodds for Texas athletics' long history of success.

"DeLoss has been the best athletics director in the country for a long, long time and built a model athletics department here. He is absolutely as good a boss as anybody could ask for, and he really cares about the coaches, kids and everybody in all of our programs. DeLoss was a great athlete himself, successful coach and directed a program that achieved tremendous success on and off the field. He's a man of great character who accomplished all of that while maintaining great integrity and honesty, just the perfect model for an athletics director. We are so lucky to have him.

"DeLoss is a great man, great leader and great friend. I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to work for him for 16 years and know I speak for many when I say I'm happy he will be helping the department's transition to a new athletics director and will be on board here to support the department after that."

Dodds helped build the Texas athletic department into the biggest in the country, one that runs on a $163 million budget. He was also instrumental in the Longhorns' agreement with ESPN to form the Longhorn Network.

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