Houston Parts Ways With Athletic Director Chris Pezman in ‘Difficult But Necessary Decision’

As first reported by Houston Chronicle’s Joseph Duarte, the Houston Cougars have opted to part ways with Athletic Director Chris Pezman.

“The University of Houston is embarking on a new chapter in the leadership of its athletics department,” a release from UH reads. “Chris Pezman will no longer serve as athletics director. The University is initiating a national search for a new vice president for intercollegiate athletics.

The university release then proceeds to recognize Pezman for his dedication and leadership over the last half-dozen years, with a quote from UH President Renu Khator.


“Chris Pezman has ushered our athletics program through a period of incredible transformation, and we are grateful for his leadership over the past six years,” Khator said in the statement. “He has been a pivotal part of our entry into the Big 12 Conference and championed the success of student-athletes on the field and in the classroom.”

In addressing the reason for the change, Khator pointed to a “paradigm shift” in collegiate sports, perhaps speaking to the many changes that we’ve seen implemented over the past couple of years with the NCAA in and out of lawsuits and settlements.

“This was a difficult but necessary decision as we navigate a paradigm shift in collegiate athletics,” Khator continued. “I want to thank Chris for his dedication to UH and our student-athletes. On behalf of the University, I wish Chris and his family the very best.”


Houston also announced that it will begin the search for its new athletic director immediately, but during the process, Raymond S. Bartlett, Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance, will serve as the interim director for athletics.

As the statement read, Pezman played a major role in getting Houston into the Big 12 and made several key hires to get the Cougars where they are today, including the splash hire of former Tulane head football coach, Willie Fritz.

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