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Chris Del Conte — UT’s Director of Athletics

Posted by on Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 in Blog

Reported by Phil Thoden

President Julia called the Rotary Club of Austin (RCA) lunch meeting to order. Kimberly Gdula led the pledges, Past President Ron Mullen gave our invocation of the day and Past President Pete Meeker led us in saying the Four Way Test. Margaret Curtis greeted each member and guest as they arrived and Carl Noble introduced our many guests and visitors.

President Julia presented a Blue Badge to Buck Cole, sponsored by Past President Sara Pantin. Congratulations Buck! She then presented Paul Harris Fellowships to Michael Abelson (PHF+3), Ann Marie Ellis (PHF), Jill Johnson (PHF) and Past President Ron Mullen (PHF+2). Congratulations, and thank you all!

Michael Abelson then came back to the podium and provided the Membership Minute, noting that he joined the RCA at the invitation of Don Grillo. He has been active as the Program Chair and now with Camp Enterprise. He keeps coming back for the great people in the Club.

Jon Yates rem inded us about an upcom ing Pecan Springs Beautification Day project this Saturday from 8:00am to 1:00pm at the school located at 3100 Rogge Lane. Volunteers are needed for help with painting, weeding, planting and general clean-up. Come even if you just have 30 minutes to spare! He also noted that readers will be needed there the week of December 3rd so contact him if you are available.

President Julia then made the following announcements:

  • Use to check in at meetings (a tutorial is coming up next week!)
  • There is always a need for more advertisers in our newsletter
  • Jon Yates is signing up more people for the newly reinstated Membership Minute
  • Margaret Curtis will host a wine party on November 30
  • December 11 is our annual Holiday Party at Chez Zee
  • Bill Baker has been in the hospital so please sign the Get Well Soon card for him, and keep him in your thoughts and prayers

Ann Graham led the Thank Goodness Basket with Mike O’Krent com ing up first to say he enjoyed attending Mark Kapner’s wedding over the weekend! We also heard from Margaret Curtis, Scott Rider, Edis Oliver, Jim Bryce and Don Grillo.

Past President Ronney Reynolds then introduced our weekly speaker, Chris Del Conte, who has served as the Director of Athletics at the University of Texas since December 2017. Chris previously served 8 years in that position for Texas Christian University (TCU), and he is nationally recognized for developing winning programs, upgrading facilities, improving the fan experience and helping student-athletes excel both on and off the field.

Chris first noted he enjoyed working with long-time RCA member Jerry Ray who, as we all know, was a passionate TCU alum and fan. He then gave an overview of UT athletics and recognized it has been a trying five years or so for the Longhorns football team with coaches coming and going. He talked about the importance of finding out and pursuing what is good for “us” as Longhorn students, alums and fans. He expects athletic facilities to be renewed/renovated/rebuilt because the old ones, including for football and basketball, are now dated.

Chris left plenty of time for excellent Q&A and, most notably, shared that being humble, honest, and of service to others has been a guiding principle that has served him well since a young age.

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