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Saturday, 4 April 2015

Texas Longhorns' Athletic Department Display Winning Attitude

One of the most recognizable teams and brands in the world of college athletics are the Texas Longhorns. The Longhorns bring in more money than any other athletic program in the entire country and at times, money appeared to be the main motive.

That mindset seemed to change in a drastic way when the University of Texas decided to make a change at the position of Men’s Athletic Director.  November 5, 2013, the Longhorns hired the former Arizona State Men’s Athletic Director, Steve Patterson. Since that moment the Longhorns have been an athletic program in transition and for Texas fans, it has been a very rejuvenating time filled with lots of optimism.

Since the time Texas brought in Patterson as the new Men’s Athletic Director of Texas, the Longhorns have made a change at head coach in both football and basketball.

This past Thursday, April, 2nd, Texas hired former VCU Head Coach Shaka Smart as their new Men’s Basketball Head Coach after parting ways with Rick Barnes. Barnes had spent nearly two decades at Texas, but wasn’t ever able to experience the NCAA Tournament success the program was looking for.

This was much the same problem with Texas’ football program, which provoked Patterson to make a change at head coach in football and bring in Charlie Strong from Lousiville. In just one season, Strong was able to begin the change of culture in the football program that Texas was looking for when they made the move.

Texas will now look for Smart to do that same thing with the basketball program. Smart’s energetic personality and style of play he brings to the court with his players will be a welcomed sight for Longhorn fans. Smart’s full court press puts an emphasis on creating what is known as “havoc,” which was made famous during his time at VCU.

The Longhorns’ men’s athletic department appears to be in a transition period and I feel it will be a change for the better. Yes, Brown and Barnes experienced some of the greatest times and moments in the history of Texas Longhorns’ athletics, but the time for a change was now.

Patterson came in and wasn’t afraid to make changes and in return, it may be just what Texas needed to progress forward in the future with success. Texas will still have millions of dollars and if they are able to produce a winning product consistently on the field of play, then it will only enhance the outlook and perception of the Texas brand and athletic department.

Strong continues to build the mindset of toughness and physicality within the football program, which appears to be on the verge of producing excellent results on the field of play very soon. Longhorn football under the last few years of Brown’s term lacked passion and effort, but with Strong that is certainly changing.

The overall thought of Texas in the past two years is that it’s a change of times. It is no longer the mindset of just making money and settling for mediocre results in the win/loss column. Texas has the money, resources, talent and facilities that should have them competing for national titles in all sports every year.

Texas is back on the rise to the days of Vince Young in football and T.J. Ford in basketball. That time period seems so long ago for the diehard Texas fans, but with the change of guard, at both head coaching positions in football and basketball, the future appears to be leaning towards those great times once again.

Patterson and the entire Longhorn organization are committed to winning and as a fan, that’s all you can ask for. Changes have been made and will continue to be made until national titles are an every year occurrence at the University of Texas.


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