Chris Del Conte has been named vice president and athletics director at The University of Texas at Austin and will begin that job Monday. Del Conte has served as director of intercollegiate athletics at Texas Christian University since 2009 and is nationally recognized for developing winning programs, upgrading facilities, improving the fan experience and helping student-athletes excel on and off the field.
“Chris has the experience, vision and character that’s needed for Texas to build on the Longhorns’ rich legacy and to continue winning with integrity for years to come,” UT Austin President Gregory L. Fenves said in an email to UT students, fans and alumni Saturday. “He knows the state of Texas, supports student-athletes, understands the media landscape of college sports, and is one of the best athletics directors in the country.”
Fenves and Del Conte plan to appear at a joint news conference at UT on Monday. Details will be announced in advance.
“I would first like to thank the TCU Board of Trustees, Chancellor Boschini, the student-athletes, coaches and staff and all TCU constituents for the wonderful opportunity to serve them these past nine years. The time has come to take on a new challenge,” Del Conte said. “After being with President Fenves and hearing his vision for the future of The University of Texas, I couldn’t be more honored to join his leadership team. I can’t wait to get down to Austin and meet all the student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans.”
During the past year, Texas Athletics welcomed new baseball and football coaches, announced a proposed on-campus site for a new basketball arena, neared completion of a tennis center, fielded a nationally ranked volleyball team and won an NCAA championship in men’s swimming and diving, among other accomplishments.
During his eight years at TCU, Del Conte successfully transitioned the university into the Big 12 Conference and oversaw nationally competitive teams in football and other sports. He upgraded facilities for football, basketball, baseball, track and field and volleyball, among other sports. He also increased donations to the athletics department and hired several world-class coaches. Before that, he was the athletics director at Rice University and a senior associate athletics director at the University of Arizona.
Under Del Conte’s leadership, TCU student-athletes also attained their highest grade-point averages in school history.
Del Conte will replace Mike Perrin, who served for nearly 2½ years as UT’s men’s athletics director. During his tenure, Perrin restored trust between the Athletics program and fans, oversaw the early plans to relocate the Erwin Center and hired baseball coach David Pierce and football coach Tom Herman. Perrin will remain at UT as an adviser to Del Conte until at least August.
“Mike has been a trusted partner and friend and will forever have my gratitude and the gratitude of Longhorn Nation,” Fenves said.
Del Conte will also work closely with women’s Athletics Director Chris Plonsky and all Longhorns coaches and Athletics staff members to support student-athletes and fans and build on Texas’ winning athletics legacy.
Fenves hired Del Conte after consultation with Chancellor William McRaven and members of the UT System Board of Regents. The Board is expected to approve a contract for Del Conte at an upcoming meeting.