Chris Del Conte
Chris Del Conte was named vice president and athletics director at The University of Texas at Austin on December 9, 2017.
Del Conte previously 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. “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.”
“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 his eight years at TCU, Del Conte oversaw a series of historic moments for TCU Athletics that include 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 and hired several world-class coaches.
While at TCU, Del Conte managed over $300 million in construction projects that were all donor funded. He took the Horned Frogs to new heights under his leadership, as the 2017 fiscal year saw a new record-breaking Frog Club Annual Giving total. The three highest totals in overall athletic giving at TCU happened in the last four years of his tenure in Fort Worth.
Academics were a main focus of Del Conte’s time at TCU. Under his leadership, TCU student-athletes attained their highest grade-point averages in school history. In the final three semesters (Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017), TCU student-athletes posted the top-three cumulative grade-point averages in program history.
Under his guidance, five TCU head coaches (Gary Patterson, football; Jim Schlossnagle, baseball; Karen Monez, rifle; David Roditi, men’s tennis; Haley Schoolfield, equestrian) were named National Coach of the Year in their respective sports. Jamie Dixon, hired in March 2016 as head men’s basketball coach, received National Coach of the Year accolades at Pittsburgh.
During Del Conte’s time in Fort Worth, two national team championships and five individual NCAA track and field titles were won. In its opening five years of Big 12 play, TCU captured conference team championships in football, baseball and men’s tennis. Overall, 10 sports (baseball, women’s basketball, football, women’s golf, rifle, men’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, women’s indoor and outdoor track and field) won conference titles under Del Conte, who saw 17 of 21 sports represented in NCAA postseason play.
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.