Men's Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds has been selected to receive the Distinguished Service Award from the Texas Exes, the alumni association for The University of Texas at Austin.
The Distinguished Service Award recognizes meritorious service to the university. It is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a non-alumnus of the university. Only five other individuals have been honored with the award: former University of Texas at Austin President Peter T. Flawn, University Senior Vice President William Livingston, philanthropist Peter O'Donnell, three-time national championship-winning football coach Darrell K. Royal and highly renowned Professor Elspeth Rostow.
"In our opinion, DeLoss is the best athletics director in the country," said Jim Boon, executive director and CEO of the Texas Exes. "During his 29 years with the university, he has built a powerhouse program based on integrity and putting student-athletes at the forefront. We have worked closely together to generate alumni support, and it is an honor for us to present this prestigious award to him."
A graduate of Kansas State University, Dodds became the university's ninth men's athletics director in 1981. During his tenure, the Longhorns have claimed 13 national championships and 99 conference (Southwest and Big 12) titles in nine different sports. He was also instrumental in raising the funds needed to renovate buildings and build additional facilities, including Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium's recent upgrade and UFCU Disch-Falk Field's refurbishment.
Dodds also created the Longhorn Foundation. It has become the center of official fundraising for the Athletics Department and since its inception 26 years ago the foundation has accumulated more than 13,000 donors and raised more than $293 million for athletics. This money supports student-athlete scholarships, academic services, sports medicine and facilities, among other things.
Dodds has been nationally recognized with a number of awards, including the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame's John L. Toner Award in 2006 for his outstanding administrative abilities and dedication to college athletics. In 2005 Dodds was named the Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal National Athletic Director of the Year, and he was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.
Dodds will be honored along with six recipients of the Distinguished Alumnus Award at an Oct. 22 presentation at the LBJ Library Auditorium in Austin. The Distinguished Alumni are David Beck, founder of Beck, Redden and Secrest, L.L.P; Ernest Cockrell, chairman of Cockrell Interests Inc. and president and director of the Cockrell Foundation; Hector De Leon, founder of De Leon and Washburn, P.C. and former president of the Texas Exes; Gary Kelly, president and CEO of Southwest Airlines; Elizabeth (Libba) Shatto Massey, a civic leader and philanthropist; and Diane P. Wood, a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School.
The Texas Exes was founded in 1885. The mission of the Texas Exes is to unite, inform and involve alumni and friends for the purpose of promoting, protecting and preserving The University of Texas at Austin. Today there are about 90,000 members whom the association strives to connect to each other and to the past, present and future of the university through career counseling, travel, reunions, continuing education, fellowship, legislative advocacy in support of higher education and The Alcalde magazine.