Before the Texas Longhorns take the field against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs to kick off the season, the school will host the grand opening of the Frank Denius University of Texas Athletics Hall of Fame at 1 p.m. Central on Aug. 30. The event is free and open to the public with an RSVP.
Housed in the north end zone of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, the Hall of Fame is the first of its kind at Texas. Construction started in January on the $17.1 million project, which covers nearly 25,000 square feet.
“So much of our history was scattered throughout campus and in our various sports venues. We now have all of our traditions, trophies, awards and accomplishments housed in one place. It’s truly awesome,” said athletics director Chris Del Conte in a statement. “It’s an amazing facility where we are celebrating The University of Texas and what it means to be a Longhorn. We’ve put a ton of energy and resources into this and can’t wait for everyone to see it.”
Here’s how the school describes the facility:
Greeted by an impressive 8-foot tall, 1,200-pound Longhorn statue honoring one of the nation’s largest and most-storied collegiate mascots, BEVO, the facility tells the story of Texas Athletics from the vintage days of its first football team in 1893 to what is now one of the nation’s premier broad-based athletics programs. Bracketing the Longhorn statue are halo displays celebrating the recent successes of all 20 of Texas’ sports teams. There are visual and digital displays honoring all 55 of UT’s National Championship teams, 599 conference team titles, hundreds of individual national champions, 171 Olympians at 21 Olympiads who claimed 145 Olympic medals and first-team sports All-Americans, academic All-Americans and other scholastic honorees, as well as the traditions and tales that encompass the history of Longhorns Athletics. All totaled, the facility is decorated with 392 trophies representing generations of successful UT teams, student-athletes and coaches.
The Hall of Fame also features statues of Texas icons like Darrell Royal, Jody Conradt, Earl Campbell, and Ricky Williams, as well as a National Championship room and a visual timeline of all 15 Bevos.
“You can see the Heisman Trophy winners, look at all of our All-Americans and Hall of Honor members, see videos recognizing all of our 55 National Championship teams and take a picture with a beautiful Longhorn statue. It’s a wonderful celebration of our school,” Del Conte said. “I want to give a special thanks to Chris Plonsky and the entire team that headed this up for their hard work and dedication to this project. They all worked tirelessly and meticulously along with our friends at Advent and the entire construction crew to make this dream a reality. I know everyone will be blown away when they see it.”