It seems the worst-kept secret in Tempe was revealed Wednesday morning when Arizona State President Dr. Michael Crow announced Vice President of Athletics Lisa Love was out and Steve Patterson is in as the Sun Devils look to raise the athletic bar in Tempe.
Patterson, who came to ASU in July of 2011, will fill Love’s role, as well as assume other responsibilities as the school’s Athletics Director. He becomes the fourth AD in the past 16 years.
“He is the ideal person to build on the foundation Lisa built,” Crow said. “To take Sun Devil sports to the next level–the highest level.”
Patterson has held sports management positions at various levels in professional sports. His experience includes high-level jobs with the Houston Texans, Houston Rockets, and Portland Trailblazers among others. His original title when hired at ASU last summer was managing director of the Sun Devils Sports Group.
Along the way he’s leaned on others for some savvy advice, including former Suns and Diamondbacks owner Jerry Colangelo.
“The interesting thing that Jerry has done is [forge] a valuable connection to the community,” Patterson told Brad Cesmat on ‘Big Guy on Sports’ Wednesday. “You look at that and try to emulate it. He’s obviously had a tremendous career.”
Patterson’s goals in Tempe are lofty, as he too shares Crow’s vision of turning ASU into a mainstay atop the Pac-12 standings in all sports, not just football and men’s basketball.
“I look at all the teams as separate enterprises inside Sun Devil athletics,” Patterson explained to Cesmat. “We sat down and met with all our coaches here and laid out a set of expectations for them. All of them have to fit into Sun Devil athletics as a whole. All of them have to make their contribution.”
He also stressed continued success from student-athletes in the classroom as the Sun Devils boast one of the higher graduation rates in the conference.
As for Love, she was terminated from her position by Crow who said it was “his decision” to part ways. She leaves ASU after holding the position for the past seven years.