Be humble. Be honest. Serve others.
Those are the words that Chris Del Conte's father instilled in him at a young age, and the words that he lives by each day in the world of athletic administration.
He grew up in both Mexico and New Mexico in a children's home started by his parents who were Christian missionaries, and he continues to live out those servant leadership principles on a daily basis.
"My philosophy is simple: my job is to support coaches and student-athletes in their endeavors to win championships, period," Del Conte said at his introductory press conference on Monday. "That's it. I have a reverse pyramid. I am a servant leader."
Del Conte has spent the last 12 years serving others as an Athletic Director at both Rice and Texas Christian. Today, he began his journey on the 40 Acres at The University of Texas. He takes over one of the most successful athletic departments in the country, a position he has prepared for his entire life.
"Chris has a vision for how important athletics is for a great university," President Greg Fenves said on Monday. "The importance of the student-athlete experience on the field or on the court, in the classroom. He is the AD for the coaches, recognizes that coaches are the key people that are motivating young men and women here at The University of Texas. He understands athletics as a business, how we all have to need to work together to serve our student-athletes and serve our university, but also be financially viable in a changing media environment."
During his eight years at TCU, Del Conte is credited with getting the Horned Frogs into the Big 12 Conference, upgrading facilities in a majority of sports, managing over $300 million in donor funded projects, as well as student-athlete success in the classroom. Many of TCU's programs became nationally relevant under his watch, and five coaches were named National Coaches of the Year.
"To Longhorn Nation, I can promise you," Del Conte said Monday. "I will serve you to the best of my abilities. I will always be honest to you, and answer any question you have. I will humbly serve you. I can't thank you enough for giving me this opportunity."