Del Conte A Finalist For Top Honor
May 5, 2011
FORT WORTH, Texas -- TCU director of intercollegiate athletics Chris Del Conte is one of five finalists for SportsBusiness Journal's Athletic Director of the Year.
Over the last year, the TCU football program made its second straight BCS appearance with a 21-19 Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin, the Horned Frog baseball team reached the College World Series and the rifle team won the NCAA national title. In 2009-10, TCU was the only school in the nation to play in a BCS game and win at least one game at the CWS.
Del Conte has overseen a fundraising campaign that has raised $133 million to date over the last year, exceeding the original goal of $105 million, to renovate Amon G. Carter Stadium, TCU's longtime football home. The new stadium will be completely finished in time for the 2012 season. Other recent facility improvements include the expansion of baseball's Lupton Stadium as well as the construction of a new intercollegiate strength and conditioning center scheduled for completion in September 2011. After this fall, work will begin on a new football locker room, training room and equipment room.
The recipient of the 2010 Bobby Dodd Division I-A Athletic Director's Award, Del Conte has also helped guide the Horned Frogs into Big East Conference membership effective in the 2012-13 athletics season.
Over the last year, three TCU head coaches (Gary Patterson, football; Jim Schlossnagle, baseball; Karen Monez, rifle) have been named National Coach of the Year. Patterson has received the accolade in each of the last two seasons. Five TCU coaches were named MWC Coach of the Year in their respective sports last season.
TCU set a single-season school record last year with six conference championships (football, men's swimming and diving, women's basketball, men's tennis, women's tennis and baseball). Fifteen of 20 sports were represented in NCAA postseason play and 12 teams were nationally ranked.
The success on the playing field carried over to the classroom. In the Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 semesters, TCU student-athletes recorded their highest cumulative grade-point average since tracking began in 1998. Fifteen of 20 sports had team GPAs over 3.0.
The partnership between TCU and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex has never been more evident. Football, baseball, soccer, tennis, track and field and volleyball have set single-season attendance marks this season.
Del Conte arrived at TCU in November 2009 after serving four years as the director of athletics at Rice. With the Owls, Del Conte designed, developed and managed the Rice Vision for the Second Century Campaign, which raised over $90 million. He secured significant funds to build athletic facilities such as the Tudor Fieldhouse and Youngkin Center for Student-Athlete Excellence. He also raised $4 million for upgrades to the football stadium.
The other finalists for the SportsBusiness Journal's Athletic Director of the Year Award are Bob Bowlsby (Stanford), Tim Curley (Penn State), DeLoss Dodds (Texas) and Chris Hill (Utah).
The winner will be announced at the fourth-annual Sports Business Awards celebration at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City on May 18.