Chris Del Conte got himself noticed quickly by Texas power brokers.
It started when he made a personal pitch to Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds in 2010 trying to make a case for TCU to join the Big 12.
Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports.com had the story in 2014 that explained why Del Conte’s bold, innovative strategy to try and push the Horned Frogs agenda — right into former Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds’ lap.
Del Conte knew Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione well and received a favorable response from him when he told him of his interest of pushing TCU into the Big 12. But he knew he had to get Dodds’ approval if the Horned Frogs ever had a chance to join the new conference
When Del Conte arrived for a meeting in Austin with Dodds, the venerable Texas athletic director barely knew him.
“All right, Del,” Dodds told Dodd how he come to know the Horned Frogs’ AD, “let them have the story, my man.”
Apparently, it was a quite a visit. Del Conte arranged for a TCU car, a drive and various reference materials about TCU and Fort Worth.
“I get up at 8 o’clock in the morning and drive to Darrell K. Royal Stadium. I get to [Dodds’] office,” Del Conte told Dodd. “Nine comes around, 10 comes around. I’ve got a GA [graduate assistant] outside waiting for me, by the way. I tell him, ‘Just wait 10 minutes I’ll be back.’ Pretty soon it’s 3:30.
“[DeLoss] comes out and says, ‘Who are you?’ Chris Del Conte, Texas Christian U. He doesn’t hear ‘Chris.’ he hears ‘Del’. ‘Del, let’s go get ourselves a drink and discuss it.”
One drink became two. And two drinks became three. But Del Conte’s pitch resonated — once he had the chance to personally turn on the charm to Dodds.
“By the time 8:30 rolls around, we were [into it] pretty good but we got ourselves in a situation,” Del Conte recalled. “I kept trying to give him my [TCU binders]. He said, ‘I’ve heard enough, Del’ and just walked away.”
The Big 12 athletic directors had a conference call about the Horned Frogs the next day. Whatever Del Conte said must have resonated with Dodds, according to Dodd’s story.
“The next morning I got up. Joe [Castiglione] goes, ‘I don’t know what you did but it worked.’ We got the vote. The Frogs are in,’ Del Conte told Dodd.
That story is the best reason why the Horned Frogs sauntered into the Big 12 and Power 5 respectability.
Eight years later, Del Conte will join Texas as the school’s athletic director. His bold personal pitch no doubt charmed Dodds, but also caught the attention of the school’s legion of “big cigars” who contribute money that fuels Texas’ program.
TCU will miss Del Conte. But without his pitch nearly eight years ago, the school wouldn’t be in the Big 12 today.
Most Horned Frogs boosters would take that scenario.
Because it certainly beats the alternative.
The post Chris Del Conte’s personal TCU pitch got him noticed early by Texas elite appeared first on Diehards.
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