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

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.