UH parting ways with athletics director 'a difficult but necessary decision,' school president says

Chris Pezman was hired on after the 2017 football season.

ByMatt Guillermo and Greg Bailey KTRK logo
Thursday, June 20, 2024
UH parts ways with athletics director Chris Pezman
Chris Pezman is out as the University of Houston's athletics director, the school announced on Thursday. Pezman, a UH grad, had the job for six years.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Chris Pezman will not get to see the University of Houston's sophomore season in the Big 12 and beyond.

On Thursday, UH announced it would not retain the athletics director, marking what the university president called a necessary decision.

"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," UH President Renu Khator said. "This was a difficult but necessary decision as we navigate a paradigm shift in collegiate athletics."

In addition, the university announced the start of a national search for the next person in charge of intercollegiate athletics.

Pezman, a UH graduate and former Cougars football captain, held the position for six years, with milestones in the men's basketball and track and field programs as major highlights during his time.

However, success wasn't across the board. The football program earned one top-25 finish during Pezman's tenure. He also oversaw two head coaching changes for Cougars football, hiring Dana Holgorsen in 2019 and Willie Fritz this past offseason.

UH also became a Big 12 member but needed to catch up in providing facilities, namely in football, comparable to its new conference mates. A $130 million football facility that broke ground last year is still under construction.

The university also announced Raymond S. Bartlett, senior vice president for administration and finance, will serve as interim director for athletics amid the search.

SEE ALSO: UH holds groundbreaking ceremony for its new $130M football center: 'Truly competitive'

The planned $130 million facility will also have amenities, including sports performance centers, an academic support services suite, a leading-edge locker room facility, student-athlete flex space, and office space to house football coaching and support staff.