photo of Chris Del Conte

Chris Del Conte

Vice President and Lois and Richard Folger Athletics Director
Texas Athletics

University of Texas Vice President and Lois and Richard Folger 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 sixth year at UT and 18th 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 31 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, including the major renovation project of the South End Zone of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium and the brand-new home for Texas Men’s and Women’s Basketball, the $338 million Moody Center. The new South End Zone design provided renovations to the Moncrief-Neuhaus Athletic Center, expanded amenities for student-athletes and enhanced the coaches offices, along with providing a number of improvements and additions to gameday fan experiences. Opened in April 2022, the Moody Center is a multi-purpose facility and prime location for university, campus, community and high school events, as well as providing a world-class stage for touring concerts and shows. Right alongside the Moody Center is the brand-new state-of-the-art practice and training facility for the Men’s and Women’s Basketball and Rowing programs. Texas also recently announced plans for construction of a new Football Indoor Training Facility, which is slated to begin in 2024. Since Del Conte took over, the Longhorns also have completed renovation and enhancement projects for Baseball (J. Dan Brown Player Development Center), Softball (Player Development Center), Track & Field, Soccer and the Eddie Reese Outdoor Pool for the Swimming & Diving programs.

Improving the gameday experience of Texas Athletics has been another key initiative of Del Conte’s since his arrival in Austin and the ever-growing Bevo Blvd., Smokey’s Midway and Longhorn City Limits initiatives that were implemented 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 country’s top performers. Located on the north end of the stadium along DeLoss Dodds Way, Smokey’s Midway was added in 2019 and serves as the perfect bridge connecting Bevo Blvd. and Longhorn City Limits.

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 the University’s athletics programs boast.

To do so, Del Conte spearheaded plans for UT’s 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 University of Texas Athletics 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, 2019, and features visual and digital displays honoring the 64 National Championship teams, more than 600 conference titles, hundreds of individual national champions, thousands of All-Americans and hundreds of 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. The accomplishments reached historic proportions in 2020-21 as the Longhorns claimed their first-ever LEARFIELD College Directors’ Cup as the nation’s top all-around, all-sports program. The Longhorns one-upped that in 2021-22, claiming back-to-back Director’s Cups and joining Stanford as the nation’s only program to garner that honor in consecutive years. Including a tightly-contested runner-up finish in 2022-23, the Longhorns have finished in the top-5 of the Director’s Cup standings in each of Del Conte’s five years leading the Longhorns program.

It was an epic year in 2021-22 as Texas won four National Championships and saw six teams finish as NCAA runners-up. All totaled, 10 of the 20 programs posted top-two NCAA Championship finishes, 12 were in the top-five, and 14 in the top-10. UT also won 11 Big 12 Conference Championships. During its back-to-back LEARFIELD Director’s Cup titles, the Longhorns recorded seven National Championships, seven NCAA runner-up finishes, 14 NCAA top-two finishes, 21 top-fives, 27 top-10s, and 24 Big 12 Conference titles. In 2022-23, Texas was the nation’s only school to qualify all of its eligible teams for the NCAA postseason and play in a bowl game. Additionally, the Longhorns 36 Big 12 Championships over the last three seasons are more than the next two schools combined, Oklahoma (15) and Oklahoma State (14).

During Del Conte’s tenure, Texas Athletics has had tremendous success, winning 11 NCAA team titles and recording 12 NCAA runner-up finishes for a total of 23 NCAA Championship top-2 finishes. During his time at UT, the Longhorns have also posted 41 top-5 and 60 top-10 team showings at the NCAA Championships, along with 58 Big 12 Conference Championships. That trend of success began in 2018-19, his first full-year at Texas, when the Longhorns finished fourth in the Director’s Cup standings, which at the time was their highest finish in the national all-sports rankings since 2005-06.

In July 2021, Del Conte worked closely with campus and UT System leadership while playing a critical role in Texas requesting and then accepting future membership in the Southeastern Conference. One of the most monumental moves in UT history, the Longhorns will be joining the SEC in 2024.

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 and 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, he 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.

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Events featuring Chris Del Conte
Events featuring Chris Del Conte