Chris Pezman was introduced as the new vice president of intercollegiate athletics at the University of Houston on Tuesday, telling a crowd of supporters he's back for the long haul.
"I don't plan on being here for one year or four years," Pezman said. "This is my life. This is home."
Pezman received a standing ovation during the news conference, which was attended by several teammates from his time as a walk-on to team captain in the early 1990s.
Pezman becomes the 11th athletic director in school history and the first alumni to assume the school's top athletic position. He received both degrees from UH, was a three-year letterman on the football team and served as a graduate assistant and later in an administrative role.
Pezman, 47, spent the last four years as senior associate athletic director and chief operating officer at the University of California, Berkeley.
Houston's AD position position opened up as a result of former AD Hunter Yuracheck's sudden departure to Arkansas early in December. Pezman's name was floated almost immediately; UH Board of Regents chairman Tilman Fertitta and UH President Renu Khator met with him shortly afterward and made the decision to hand the keys to the department over to him.
If the chatter on UH athletics message boards is any indication, fans are happy with this hire. Acquaintances of mine who are well-connected to UH athletics say he did well during his previous administrative stint here in Houston and also performed admirably while at Cal-Berkeley. The fact that he is originally from here, and understands the relationship between this city of fair-weather fans and its largest university, also helps.
I'm pretty confident UH got this hire right, and I'm happy to welcome Chris Pezman back home.