Between Tom Herman’s pursuit of premier football facilities and first-year athletic director Chris Del Conte’s willingness to grant those wishes by way of big checks from big-money boosters, the Texas Longhorns athletic department is full-speed ahead in its quest to modernize and once again become the Joneses.
Whether it’s aiming to improve the overall game day experience or casually calling boosters in hopes of $10 million-plus donations, Del Conte has worked feverishly behind the scenes since taking over at Texas in December. As is, Del Conte’s to-do list includes major projects such as fundraising for a brand new, state-of-the-art basketball arena and a $140 million renovation to the south end zone of Darrell K Royal—Texas Memorial Stadium.
I completed the Texas Football survey this morning. Here are the conceptual photos for the South End Zone. NICE!!! pic.twitter.com/yvfqOhicVr— Rocky Osborn (@rockyknowsbest) April 25, 2018
Go ahead and add another $10 million to that budget, as Del Conte is aiming to add a 30,000-square foot Texas Hall of Honor to the north end zone.
“I asked somebody to show me where the Texas hall of honor is,” Del Conte said on Tuesday, via Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman. “There isn’t one.”
For a program as rich with tradition as Texas is, Del Conte was blown away by the fact that the Longhorns are still without a memorial for the program’s many accolades. Yes, the vast collection of various awards is available, but locating them all would require a bit of a scavenger hunt.
“We have plenty of trophies around the building, too, right?,” Del Conte said. “But they’re on the seventh floor, there are some upstairs in storage on the 10th floor, there are some in the football offices, baseball offices and some scattered around. But we don’t have a central location.”
Del Conte even added that the Longhorns have three storage sheds in Georgetown full of trophies, which of course, are not on display. It could go without saying that not only would this improve the game day experience for fans, but in the hyper-competitive world that is college recruiting, Texas constructing a massive memorial highlighting the program’s achievements would prove to be a valuable tool, as well, similar to Oklahoma’s renovated Barry Switzer Center.
Oklahoma Football's new Barry Switzer Center lobby is slick and glitzy. Opens to fans... https://t.co/L9avmXxIrk pic.twitter.com/BJWI5IrWPT— Jeannine Edwards (@jeanninee12) September 8, 2017
With hopes to begin construction following the 2018 season, Del Conte says half of the money for the project has already been raised.
“If you write a big enough check, I can start this thing in January.”