TCU’s Gary Patterson says coaches ‘love it here’ in wake of Chris Del Conte leaving for Texas

TCU athletics has entered a transition period after athletic director Chris Del Conte was announced to have been hired in the same role at the University of Texas on Saturday.

Del Conte had been with the Horned Frogs since 2009 and oversaw the school’s entrance into the Big 12 Conference in time for the 2012-13 school year.

The sudden departure, which left TCU fans shocked, had some concerned over the long-term futures of TCU’s most high-profile coaches — namely Gary Patterson (football), Jamie Dixon (men’s basketball) and Jim Schlossnagle (baseball).

But Patterson, speaking on behalf of TCU’s coaches, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Mac Engel that there is little reason to worry right now about anybody being lured away — particularly along with Del Conte to the Longhorns.

“Bottom line is we haven’t left. We’ve had opportunities in the past, and the buyout wasn’t big enough to where another (school) couldn’t buy it out. We love it here.” — TCU football head coach Gary Patterson

Patterson has served as TCU football’s head coach since 2000. Schlossnagle has been on the baseball diamond with the Horned Frogs since 2004, while Dixon — a TCU alum — returned to the hardwood in Fort Worth in 2016.

Patterson announced after TCU’s victory over Baylor on Nov. 24 that he had signed a contract extension through Spring 2024, but NBC 5’s Newey Scruggs reported on Sunday that the trio of head coaches’ buyout provisions had become “null and void” upon Del Conte’s departure.

Patterson, however, told Engel he “wanted to make sure people know we weren’t going to be looking for another place if (Del Conte) left.”

Among the three, Schlossnagle had previously been contacted by the University Texas, but remained in Fort Worth. He has taken the Horned Frogs to four-straight College World Series appearances dating back to the 2014 season.

Patterson told Hookem.com’s Brian Davis on Saturday that he was grateful for all Del Conte did to bolster TCU athletics to new heights during his tenure in Fort Worth.

Now, Del Conte feels that it is time for another chapter of his career.

TCU’s next significant sporting event against Texas will come on Jan. 10, 2018, when the Longhorns men’s basketball team faces the Horned Frogs in Austin. TCU swept the season series against Texas during the 2016-17 campaign.

Patterson and Del Conte will be reunited when football faces Texas at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018. It will be the earliest the two teams have met in any season since the Horned Frogs joined the Big 12 Conference.

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