Patterson was spotted at a basketball game Tuesday night wearing a Longhorns shirt and talking with UT athletic director Chris Del Conte, who worked with Patterson as TCU's athletic director before taking the Texas job.
Patterson, a defensive specialist, beat Texas six out of seven years before the Longhorns won 32-27 this past season in Fort Worth. TCU joined the Big 12 in 2012, and the Horned Frogs were 7-3 against the Longhorns in Big 12 play.
Patterson in November was pushed out as TCU's head coach in his 21st season when the two sides mutually agreed to part ways. Patterson said he wanted to "stop the noise" with so much negativity surrounding the program after losing five of six games amid lingering questions about the coach's future.
In all, Patterson spent 24 years at TCU, and a statue of him was erected on campus in 2016. He won 10-plus games 11 times during his tenure and won 11 or more games during the 2014, 2015 and 2017 seasons while competing in the Big 12. The Horned Frogs suffered through losing seasons in two of the past three years.
Patterson had previously met with Sarkisian and Texas coaches in recent weeks. Even though Patterson won't be an on-field coach, his presence in the building should help a unit that finished 99th nationally in scoring defense (31.1 points per game) and 100th in total defense (425.6 yards per game) a year ago.
The Longhorns finished 5-7 in Sarkisian's first season in 2021, allowing 30 or more points in eight of 12 games.