Texas track coach Mario Sategna, who took a personal leave of absence on Sept. 12, has returned to active duty, the university announced.
Sategna participated in a team meeting on Wednesday, and the Longhornsâ€™ indoor track and field season begins on Friday at the Texas A&M Team Invitational.
In a statement, Sategna said he needed to â€œtake a step back for my own self-improvement.â€
DES MOINES, IA - JUNE 22: Coach Mario Sategna talks with Trey Hardee (not pitcured) on day three of the 2013 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium on June 22, 2013 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Coach Mario Sategna talks with Trey Hardee (not pictured) on day three of the 2013 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium on June 22, 2013 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
â€œIâ€™ve had the opportunity over these last four months to transform my life in so many different facets, and Iâ€™m excited to embark upon this next chapter and continue to be a part of The University of Texas,â€ he added.
The university has not commented about the specifics surrounding Sategnaâ€™s absence. When Sategna first went on leave, UT offered no timetable for his return. In mid-October, it was discovered that Sategna was the subject of an ethics and misconduct investigation.
School officials blocked the release of Sategnaâ€™s personnel file and other pertinent documents, referring the American-Statesmanâ€™s open records request to the state attorney general for a final decision.
Practically no information was announced about Sategnaâ€™s return, either. In a statement, UT athletic directors Mike Perrin and Chris Plonsky said the university â€œinvestigated the concerns that were brought to our attention.â€
â€œThey all have been addressed by coach Sategna and appropriate responsive measures have been put in place,â€ the joint statement said. â€œCoach Sategna will be responsible for meeting the Universityâ€™s requirements going forward, which he has agreed to do.â€
Tonja Buford-Bailey and Ty Sevin had been named co-head coaches in Sategnaâ€™s absence.
â€œIâ€™m very thankful to my wife, my children and our extended family, and for the outpouring of support I received during my time away,â€ Sategna said. â€œA lot of people have helped me over these four months, and Iâ€™m extremely appreciative of that.
â€œWith the indoor season upon us, Iâ€™m looking forward to hitting the ground running,â€ he added. â€œWe are so blessed to have a tremendous staff in place, and with Tonja and Ty leadership, our coaches have done a phenomenal job preparing and managing our student-athletes and our program.
Under Sategna, the Longhorns swept the menâ€™s and womenâ€™s Big 12 indoor championships in 2015. The women won it again in 2016 and the men finished second. Sategna was an assistant coach at UT for 10 years before becoming the head coach in June 2013.
â€œWe have so many tremendous competitors and truly gifted, well-rounded student-athletes who are a part of this program,â€ Sategna said, â€œand Iâ€™m thrilled to be back working with them and look forward to seeing them flourish this season and beyond.â€