SAN ANTONIO -- Texas athletic director Steve Patterson said Monday that he hopes to hire the Longhorns' next coach by Jan. 15.
In a brief meeting with reporters before Texas' matchup with No. 10 Oregon in the Valero Alamo Bowl, Patterson said a new coaching staff should be in place by the time the NCAA's recruiting dead period ends.
"We have to be back open for business in the middle of the month once the dead period ends," Patterson said. "The coach has to put together a staff and get up and running, keep the recruits we got and fill up any spots we've got open."
In his first public comments since the search to replace Mack Brown began, Patterson declined to say whether Texas' list of candidates is growing or shrinking.
"There's a lot of interest," he said. "There's interest that's sincere, and there's interest that's, 'Help me get a better contract.'"
Texas currently has 23 verbal commitments for its 2014 recruiting class, and Patterson said their scholarship offers will be honored by the next coaching staff. If that staff is in place by Jan. 15, it will have three weeks to recruit before the Feb. 5 signing day.
Patterson also declined to comment on the salary expectations for the Longhorns' next coach, although he's not seeking a record-setting sum.
"I think you need to be good stewards of the resources you have," he said.