TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte will assume the same position at the University of Texas, sources tell the Star-Telegram.
The story was first reported by Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman.
In a statement released on Twitter, Del Conte announced his new title at Texas while expressing his gratitude toward TCU.
“It is with heavy heart that I announce the time has come for me to take on a new challenge,” he said in the post. “I have accepted the position as Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Texas.”
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Del Conte continued: “It has been an honor and pleasure to work for Texas Christian University for the last nine years, and I am indebted to every Horned Frog for allowing me to serve you. My family and I have enjoyed every moment of being a part of this wonderful campus and the Fort Worth community. Unquestionably, our experiences here will forever hold a special place in our hearts.”
The Longhorns are expected to make an announcement today.
This is a major loss for TCU as Del Conte has been instrumental in reshaping TCU athletics since he took over in 2009, leading the athletic department to astounding success. TCU’s football program, which played in its first conference championship game earlier this month, has posted a 39-13 overall record and 26-10 conference mark, which ranks second in the Big 12 over the last four seasons. The Frogs’ basketball program is currently riding the longest winning streak in the country at 15 games, and the baseball program has reached the College World Series in four straight seasons.
“Chris has been an incredible leader for TCU,” Frogs baseball head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “He is super talented in being able to relate to every possible stakeholder ... from the student athlete to high-end donors. More importantly, he is a very dear friend and confidant that I will miss. However, I have full and complete confidence in Chancellor [Victor] Boschini and our board members. TCU is an incredible place to be and, honestly, it’s bigger than any one person. The Frog family will be fine.”
Del Conte led TCU’s charge into the Big 12 in 2012 and has been a central figure in several facility upgrades around campus, most notably the $164 million overhaul of Amon G. Carter Stadium that was completed before the Frogs’ first season in the Big 12. In November, the school also announced its plans to spend $100 million on luxury suites and premium seating at its football stadium.
“Texas Christian University is thankful for the years of service Chris Del Conte offered the university, along with the success our athletic programs achieved under his leadership,” Chancellor Boschini said. “We wish him the very best as he pursues new opportunities.”
He and Patterson recently agreed to a new six-year contract for the football coach that will keep him in Fort Worth through the 2023 season.
“I firmly believe that TCU’s athletics program is positioned for continued future growth and success, especially given Chancellor Boschini’s vision and leadership. The work we accomplished together, in which all of you played a major role in through your unbelievable passion for your university, has made TCU one of the very best athletics programs in the country.”
Patterson is one of five TCU head coaches to have been named National Coach of the Year in their respective sport during Del Conte’s tenure, along with Haley Schoolfield (equestrian), Karen Monez (rifle), Schlossnagle, and David Roditi (tennis).
Del Conte will step in for Mike Perrin, a Houston-based attorney who took over the Longhorns’ job on an interim basis in 2015 after university president Gregory L. Fenves fired Steve Patterson.
UT is hoping that Del Conte will be able to stabilize an athletics department that hasn’t seen much winning out of its major sports recently, particularly football. The Longhorns just finished a 6-6 regular season with first-year head coach Tom Herman, and have not had a winning season since finishing 8-5 in 2013.
“Thrilled to welcome Chris Del Conte as UT’s new VP & Director of Athletics,” Fenves said in a tweet. “[Del Conte] will support student-athletes, win w/integrity and bring @Texassports to new levels of success. Hook’Em Chris - and thanks [Mike Perrin] for your dedication and service.”
Star-Telegram reporters Carlos Mendez and Stefan Stevenson contributed to this report.
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