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Texas hires Chris Del Conte as AD

In a move that didn’t seem possible, the ‘Horns now have a long-term answer to lead the athletic department.

TCU Accepts Invitation to Join Big East Conference - Press Conference Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

After the Steve Patterson debacle and caretaker tenure of interim athletic director Mike Perrin, the Texas Longhorns finally have a long-term solution in place, as the school named TCU Horned Frogs athletic director Chris Del Conte as Perrin’s successor on Saturday.

The Austin American-Statesman broke the news on Saturday, with Horns247 confirming it a short time later. Within minutes, the school made the news official, with president Greg Fenves set to introduce Del Conte during a Monday news conference. Del Conte will serve as vice president and athletics director.

“Chris has the experience, vision and character that’s needed for Texas to build on the Longhorns’ rich legacy and to continue winning with integrity for years to come,” Fenves said in a statement. “He knows the state of Texas, supports student-athletes and understands the media landscape of college sports, and he is one of the best athletics directors in the country.”

Del Conte also released a statement about his departure from TCU, saying he was leaving “with a heavy heart.”

Fenves indicated that Del Conte will work with women’s athletics director Chris Plonksy, whose future with the school briefly seemed in doubt after the news of Del Conte’s hire broke. Interim athletic director Mike Perrin will serve as an advisor to Del Conte until at least August.

Del Conte is a home-run hire who seemed unlikely to leave Fort Worth after elevating the TCU program since his hire in 2009 — Del Conte led the effort to join the Big 12 and oversaw a number of massive capital projects for the Horned Frogs.

His fundraising acumen is significant since the $300 million in construction projects was raised entirely from donors. The biggest accomplishments for Del Conte were the $164-million renovation of Amon Carter Stadium in 2012 and the $72-million renovation of Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena in 2015.