Chris Del Conte used to like to tell the story of how he convinced former Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds that his former school TCU was ready for the Big 12.
Del Conte camped himself at Dodds’ office in Austin to personally convince Dodds to support his bid.
Over several hours of meetings and drinks, Del Conte poured himself and TCU to Dodds.
“I do not remember much of that conversation,” Del Conte told reporters last month in Austin, “except the next day I needed two aspirin.”
During their meetings, Dodds began to feel comfortable with the TCU athletic director. He eventually became simply “Del” to Dodds.
The new Texas athletic director also impresses the legendary Dodds as he assumes his new job.
Dodds told the Austin American-Statesman’s Kirk Bohls that he likes what he’s seen so far in Del Conte.
“He’s a friend, he’s quality in every way,” Dodds told Bohls. “I feel good about him being here. He’ll be great.”
Del Conte assumed the job on Dec. 9 and has spent much of his time since taking the job meeting with Texas athletes.
The former TCU athletic director won plaudits at his former job by becoming one of the top fundraisers in college sports. He also earned praise for building a slew of new facilities at TCU and helping foster growth in all of his major sports.
New set of tests at UT
Despite that success, Dodds says that Del Conte will face a set of new challenges at Texas, one of the nation’s traditional powers.
“It’ll be different for him than it was at TCU,” Dodds said. “Texas is just a bigger stage and a harder job. Absolutely, he’s ready.”
Del Conte has seemed to be at a frenetic pace for Bohls, who mentioned the new athletic director’s rapid-fire delivery compared to previous Texas ADs.
It brought a fast crack from Dodds, 78.
“You’re used to slow talkers and slow thinkers,” Dodds said.
But it’s clear if “Del” has earned Dodds’ seal of approval, his chance to thrive at his new job are greatly improved.
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