Kyle Umlang’s growing popularity among Texas sports fans leads to dream meeting with Chris Del Conte

Arjun Rao, Sports Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the October 26 flipbook.

Like most Texas Longhorns fans, Kyle Umlang loves to make fun of Texas A&M and Oklahoma.

Umlang, who is well-known among Texas fans on Twitter @kyleumlang and sometimes referred to as Mr. Data, frequently posts statistics and facts related to the Longhorns and their opponents. 

“I like to find interesting — usually they’re kind of funny — stats that no one has really found or posted about,” Umlang said. 

For example, Umlang found that more people have seen Oklahoma football lose in the playoffs than the series finale of Seinfeld. 76 million people watched the latter.

A major tradition on his account is #AggieFactThursday, where weekly stats highlighting Texas A&M’s lack of NCAA Division I championships is a common topic. Fans have even begun participating in the trend.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Umlang used his newfound free time to take his mocking of the Aggies to a new level. 

“I had a lot of extra time on my hands,” he said. “I didn’t even know if a season was going to happen that year.” 

With the time freed up by not having to commute to work, a book was born. “101 Aggie Facts: Things Every Longhorn Should Know” is a compilation of the best facts for Longhorn fans to reference when arguing with or teasing their Aggie family and friends.

After publishing the book and seeing its popularity skyrocket, peaking as the top football book on Amazon in April, Umlang was able to parlay his increasing popularity into a meeting with Texas athletics director Chris Del Conte.

Every off-season, shortly before the Texas football season starts, Umlang posts a wishlist of the three people he most wants to follow him back. In 2020, the three people were then-starting quarterback Sam Ehlinger, former Longhorn QB Vince Young and Matthew McConaughey. Ehlinger followed him shortly after.

Umlang made another wishlist this year in March, with McConaughey and Young making appearances on the list again. Del Conte was the third and followed Umlang on Twitter.

“After he followed me, it unlocked the secret CDC DMs,” Umlang said. “I sent him a first edition copy of my book, and we started talking from there”.

A few weeks later, Umlang came down to Austin from his home in Ohio to watch the Longhorns take on Rice on Sept. 18. Del Conte extended an invitation for Umlang to come up to his office.

“It’s a giant office by the way — like I think there are offices inside of his office, and he’s got a secretary for his secretary,” Umlang said. “He told me he’d be with me in four minutes, and after four minutes exactly, he stepped out and said, ‘Kyle, let’s talk.’”

Umlang and Del Conte talked football for some time before Del Conte pointed at someone down the hall and asked them to give Umlang a tour. Del Conte told the employee that nothing in the stadium was off limits when it came to the tour, Umlang said.

He was able to see the newly constructed South Endzone, the suites and even spotted a group of recruits while on his tour. After the tour, Umlang went back up to Del Conte’s office and talked about football for a few more minutes before leaving.

“It was the best day of my life. It was awesome,” Umlang said. “We better have him as our athletic director for many, many years.”

With Texas winning the Director’s Cup last year, Umlang may get his wish. Texas’ athletic success makes Umlang’s life easier, too.

So does the failure of Texas’ rivals.

“Since Donald Trump was elected president, he has been impeached more times than Texas A&M has beaten Alabama,” Umlang said in one of his #AggieFactThursday tweets.