Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022
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Texas extends athletic director Chris Del Conte’s contract through 2030

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Eddie Gaspar

Since he was hired in December 2017 as the athletic director, Chris Del Conte’s impact on Texas athletics has been undeniable. Del Conte has been part of 11 national championships, 58 Big 12 championships and back-to-back Learfield Directors’ Cup titles. 

The University of Texas is presenting a contract extension for Del Conte through 2030 and he will be paid up to $19.255 million, the largest endowment of any named athletic director in the country. 

This decision was voted on by the UT System Board of Regents, led by chairman Kevin Eltife, during a regularly-scheduled meeting on Aug. 23-24. 


“Chris Del Conte came to the Forty Acres with a vision for elevating Texas Athletics to compete and win both on and off the field and he has consistently delivered,” Eltife said. “In my opinion, he is the best athletic director in the country.” 

The highlight of Del Conte’s time at Texas has been his hires for the school’s two biggest sports. Del Conte is responsible for the hirings of women’s basketball coach Vic Schaefer, men’s basketball coach Rodney Terry and football coach Steve Sarkisian. 

Schaefer led the women’s basketball team to its first regular season Big 12 championship since 2004 and has not missed the NCAA tournament in his time at Texas. As interim head coach, Terry led the men’s basketball team to its first Big 12 tournament championship win since 2021 and its longest NCAA tournament run since 2008. 

Sarkisian has made his name known in recruiting, snagging the Longhorns’ first no. 1 recruit from the state of Texas since 2018. He was hired by Del Conte to win big games and beating Oklahoma 49-0 at the Red River Rivalry was just what Texas fans needed to see after Sarkisian went 5-7 in his first season at Texas. 

Del Conte added a new sport in beach volleyball and hired Stein Metzger to lead the program. Metzger was a two-time national champion and two-time coach of the year at UCLA. Metzger himself is an Olympian and is widely regarded as one of the best beach volleyball coaches in the nation. 

Not only has Del Conte focused on winning in his time at Texas, he has improved the fan experience as well. For football games, he added to the pregame atmosphere with the additions of Bevo Boulevard, Smokey’s Midway and Longhorn City Limits. 

Inside Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium, he completed the $200 million renovation of the south end zone among other stadium enhancements. These upgrades have broken records for single-game and season attendance for football. 

Del Conte saw the opening of the $375 million dollar, state-of-the-art Moody Center. The new home of Texas basketball also hosts a number of concerts a week and was recently named the best new concert venue by Pollstar Magazine. 

His impact has allowed Texas to become one of the few self-sustaining athletic programs in the country, grossing millions annually without receiving state funding. 

“Del Conte’s leadership has transformed Texas Athletics in the face of a changing landscape for college sports,” President Jay Hartzell said. “His unmatched ideas and ability to execute, his genuine regard for our current and former student-athletes and his ability to identify and attract coaches and coaching staff who are among the best in the country have set us up for many more years of success.”

 

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