STATE OF THE LONGHORNS: AIM­ING TO BE TEXAS AGAIN

Texas mov­ing for­ward with new ath­letic di­rec­tor, coaches.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Brian Davis bdavis@states­man.com

Per­haps the most im­pres­sive thing

Chris Del Conte has done since ar­riv­ing in Austin last De­cem­ber is how he’s car­ried him­self. He’s walked, talked and acted like the Texas ath­letic di­rec­tor.

“Texas needs to get back to be­ing Texas — pe­riod,” Del Conte told re­porters ear­lier this month.

Those words might come off as ar­ro­gant in print. It’s prob­a­bly off-putting to those who sup­port other in­sti­tu­tions. But it’s a straight­for­ward state­ment that car­ries sig­nif­i­cant truth. Texas does need to get back to be­ing Texas. Pe­riod.

Of course, Longhorns fans have drifted into a se­ri­ous malaise over this decade. Medi­ocre foot­ball and unin­spir­ing bas­ket­ball and base­ball led to coach­ing changes in the school’s only three prof­itable sports. There was dra­matic tur­bu­lence in the ad­min­is­tra­tive ranks fol­lowed by a two-year pe­riod of calm — and more medi­ocrity.

The pre­vi­ous year was one high­lighted by ma­jor changes in the AD suite and the foot­ball of­fices. Now, 2018 projects as a year when the Texas ath­letic de­part­ment con­tin­ues to find its foot­ing and start mov­ing in an ex­pe­di­tious fash­ion.

Del Conte has an un­shak­able be­lief that the state of the Longhorns is still strong.

“It’s a pro­gram that’s constantly be­ing hunted,” he said. “No mat­ter what hap­pens, peo­ple are go­ing to take pot­shots and try to achieve great­ness by say­ing, ‘We beat Texas.’ We have to em­brace that. You have to em­brace the idea that your pro­gram is the hunted.”

That echos a sim­i­lar thought for-

ANA RAMIREZ / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

Andy Pendle­ton proudly runs into an end zone with a Longhorns flag af­ter Texas scored a touch­down against Ok­la­homa State on Oct. 21.

CON­TRIB­UTED BY STEPHEN SPILLMAN

A 33-16 win over Mis­souri in the Texas Bowl brought a smile to the face ofADChris Del Conte.

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