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Chris Del Conte

Vice President & Athletic Director, University of Texas

University of Texas Vice President and Athletics Director Chris Del Conte is a proven, well-regarded and nationally recognized athletics administrator who has a long history of leading highly-successful athletic departments. In his second year at UT and 14th year as an athletics director overall, Del Conte has strong ties to the Lone Star State, having spent a dozen years at TCU and Rice before taking over leadership of Texas Athletics on December 9, 2017. His 28 years of experience as a collegiate administrator are wide-ranging and far-reaching with previous stops at Arizona, Washington State and Cal Poly.

During his time at UT, Del Conte has spearheaded a number of projects designed to keep Texas at the forefront of college athletics. The biggest of these enhancements so far is a $175 million renovation to the South End Zone of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, which broke ground in May 2019. The new design will bring renovations to the Moncrief-Neuhaus Athletic Center, expand amenities for student-athletes and enhance the coaches offices, along with providing a number of improvements and additions to gameday fan experiences. The Longhorns also have renovation and enhancement projects underway for Baseball, Basketball, Softball and Swimming & Diving.

Improving the gameday experience of Texas Athletics has been another key initiative of Del Conte’s since his arrival in Austin and the implementation of Bevo Blvd. and Longhorn City Limits under his watch have been highly successful features around football games. Beginning with the 2018 football season, Bevo Blvd. provided a new feel to the west exterior of DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium as San Jacinto Blvd. was completely transformed into the action-filled pregame street party that provides Texas-sized fun for Longhorn fans of all ages. The Longhorn City Limits Stage on the LBJ Lawn is another exciting game day venue and attracts some of our countries top performers.

Del Conte’s vision has helped keep Texas on the cutting edge of modern trends in terms of facility upgrades and unique gameday experiences, but he has also sought to showcase the rich tradition that the University’s athletics programs boast.

To do so, Del Conte helped UT complete plans for its first-ever Hall of Fame, which was designed to tell the story of Texas Athletics from the vintage days of its first football team in 1893 to what is now one of the nation’s premier athletics programs. The Frank Denius Family University of Texas Hall of Fame, which is located in the Red McCombs Red Zone inside the north end of DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium, opened its doors on Aug. 30 and features visual and digital displays honoring the 55 National Championship teams, nearly 600 conference titles, hundreds of individual national champions, more than 2,500 All-Americans and hundreds Olympians, as well as the traditions and tales that encompass the history of Longhorns Athletics.

Texas has also had tremendous success across the board in all of its sports under Del Conte’s leadership. In 2018-19, the Longhorns finished fourth in the Learfield IMG College Director’s Cup standings, their highest finish in the national all-sports rankings since 2005-06. During last year’s sports seasons, the Longhorns won one NCAA team title (Men’s Tennis) and registered four top-2, seven top-5 and 11 top-10 NCAA Championship team finishes. UT’s four top-2 finishes mark its most in an academic year since 1993-94, the seven top-5 finishes are the most for the Horns in more than a decade (since 2008-09) and the football team’s No. 9 final ranking was its best since 2009. Texas also claimed a Big 12-best nine conference titles. That came one year after the Longhorns registered a fifth-place ranking in the 2017-18 Director’s Cup standings. Del Conte was on board for the spring portion of that academic year, as UT concluded ’17-18 with one NCAA team title (Men’s Swimming & Diving), four top-5 and 10 top-10 NCAA Championship team finishes and eight Big 12 Championships. All totaled, Del Conte has seen the Longhorns win two NCAA team titles, post 11 top-5 and 21 top-10 NCAA Championship team finishes and capture 17 Big 12 Championships in his two years at Texas.

Before coming to Austin, Del Conte served as director of intercollegiate athletics at Texas Christian University for eight years and was nationally recognized for developing winning programs, upgrading facilities, improving the fan experience and helping student-athletes excel on and off the field.

During his time at TCU, Del Conte oversaw a series of historic moments for TCU Athletics that included the Horned Frogs' July 1, 2012 entrance into the Big 12 Conference. He oversaw nationally competitive teams in football and other sports and upgraded facilities for football, basketball, baseball, track and field and volleyball, among other sports. He also increased donations to the athletics department in record-setting fashion, helped guide TCU’s student-athletes to the top-three cumulative grade-point averages in program history during his final three semesters and hired several world-class coaches.

Del Conte was the recipient of a 2015 NACDA Under Armour AD of the Year Award and the 2010 Bobby Dodd Division I-A Athletic Director's Award. In February 2015, he was named to the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship Committee.

During his tenure as Athletics Director at Rice (2006-09), Del Conte had responsibility for 16 intercollegiate programs, 350 student-athletes, along with coaches and staff. Del Conte also designed, developed and managed the Rice Vision for the Second Century Campaign, which raised over $90 million. The Second Century Campaign included athletic facilities such as the Tudor Fieldhouse and Youngkin Center for Student-Athlete Excellence as well as upgrades to the football stadium. Del Conte also secured a marketing sponsorship and broadcast rights contract for Rice and maintained a focus on student-athlete academic achievement, resulting in numerous public recognition awards from the NCAA for the academic progress rate of student-athletes.

Prior to Rice, Del Conte was the senior associate athletics director for external operations and sports programs at the University of Arizona (2000-06). In that role, Del Conte had responsibility for the planning, management and oversight of the day-to-day operation for the department of intercollegiate athletics. He also functioned as the chief financial officer; managed external operations; had oversight and management of all contracts, ticket sales, broadcast rights fees, corporate sponsorships, and trademarks and licensing; and oversight of all facility construction.

Del Conte also served as an assistant athletics director for external operations at both Washington State (1998-99) and Cal Poly (1994-98).

Del Conte received a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from UC Santa Barbara, where he was a track and field student-athlete, and a master's degree in education, administration and supervision from Washington State.

Del Conte is married to Dr. Robin Ward and has two daughters, Sienna and Sophia.

Thursday, December 12

FEATURED INTERVIEW

Chris Del Conte, Vice President & Athletic Director, University of Texas