Getty Images

Texas hires TCU AD Chris Del Conte


Texas has hired TCU athletics director Chris Del Conte to fill the same role, the school announced Saturday.

Del Conte will oversee both the men’s and women’s athletics department, an authority that Mike PerrinSteve Patterson and even DeLoss Dodds (in his later years) did not have. Texas president Greg Fenves made the announcement in a letter to UT stakeholders on the university’s website.

Many Longhorns see Texas Athletics as a “front door” to the university — an entry point that draws thousands to campus, connects students, alumni and fans to one another, and brings out Longhorn pride. Our student-athletes embody UT’s values on the field, and our coaches represent us to the world as they improve the lives of countless players.

So it is essential that the Athletics Department be guided by a strategic, forward-thinking leader who supports students, elevates the university and strengthens the Longhorn Nation’s ties to the Forty Acres. I am delighted to announce that I have found just that person in Chris Del Conte.

Chris will begin this week as UT’s vice president and athletics director. I will introduce him at a news conference on campus Monday.

Del Conte said goodbye to TCU in a statement on his Twitter account.

Del Conte replaces long-term interim Perrin, who served nearly two and a half years after Patterson was fired 18 months onto the job. Though he did not hire the incredibly successful TCU football coach Gary Patterson and baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle, his support has allowed both programs to flourish in the Big 12. TCU boasts the state’s highest-ranked football team, and its baseball program has reached the College World Series in four straight seasons. Del Conte did hire Jamie Dixon from Pittsburgh to fix the basketball program, and a team that was the worst in the Big 12 won the NIT last season and sits at No. 20 in the AP poll today.

He was ranked as the second-best athletics director in the country in an anonymous Sports Illustrated poll of 10 ADs in August. Said one of Del Conte’s peers: “He’s got the gift of gab and he really understands the big picture.”

Del Conte worked with Tom Herman at Rice, and the pair will be expected to lock arms to rebuild the Longhorns’ football program. Additionally, Del Conte will be asked to oversee the construction of a new basketball arena and to shepherd the university through the coming shifts in the twin tectonic plates supporting college athletics — television rights and conference alignment. The Big 12’s grant of rights contract expires in the middle of the next decade, and Del Conte will be tasked with finding Texas the right home, whether it be in the Big 12 or elsewhere.

His contract will last seven years with a salary starting at $1.3 million, and he will be introduced in a press conference on Monday.

In statement, K-State ‘deeply saddened’ over death of Bill Snyder’s grandson

Getty Images
Leave a comment

In a statement, Kansas State has confirmed the passing of head coach Bill Snyder‘s grandson and assistant coach Sean Snyder‘s son.

Emergency personnel were called to the home of Matthew Snyder Wednesday afternoon for what was described as a medical emergency.  Other than the 22-year-old was deceased, no further details of the events surrounding his death have been released.

While neither of the long-time Wildcats coaches have, understandably, addressed the tragedy, K-State athletic director Gene Taylor did in a statement.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Snyder family during this very difficult time. We are deeply saddened to learn of this news and ask that the family’s privacy continue to be respected. Sean, Wanda, and the entire Snyder family are greatly appreciative of the outpouring of support displayed by the K-State Family as they cope with this tragedy.

FAU QB Jason Driskel announces he is retiring from football

FAU athletics
Leave a comment

This one seemingly comes from out of nowhere.

The starting quarterback for Lane Kiffin‘s resurgent FAU program for most of 2017, Jason Driskel was hoping again to trigger one of the most potent offenses in the country in 2018.  Instead, Driskel announced on his personal Twitter account that he is retiring from the sport.

“After a lot of thinking, talking with friends and family, and prayer, I have made the decision to end my college football career,” Driskel, who has one year of eligibility remaining, wrote in the social media missive. “I undoubtedly will miss my teammates and the game with all of its trials and tribulations; but I will not regret the decision to move into the next chapter of my life.”

After going 1-2 the first three games of the 2017 season, Lane Kiffin benched starter Daniel Parr and inserted Driskel.  After losing his first start at Buffalo, Driskel proceeded to help lead the Owls to 10 straight wins to close out the regular season with a school-record 11 wins.  FAU won the Conference USA championship and also claimed the program’s first bowl win since 2008 for good measure.

Driskel passed for 2,247 yards, five touchdowns and just four interceptions in what turned out to be his last season at the school.  He was also third on the Owls with 427 yards rushing, while his eight rushing touchdowns were second on the team.

With Driskel out, a pair of transfers, Florida State’s De'Andre Johnson and Oklahoma’s Chris Robinson, will likely battle for the starting job beginning in the spring.  Even if he hadn’t retired, Driskel would’ve had to beat out that duo for the starting job, his head coach confirmed after the Boca Raton Bowl rout of Akron.

Bill Snyder’s grandson, Sean Snyder’s son dies at age 22

Getty Images
1 Comment

Tragedy has struck at the heart of the Kansas State football program.

According to the Manhattan Mercury, 22-year-old Matthew Snyder died Wednesday in Manhattan.  Snyder is the grandson of legendary K-State head coach Bill Snyder and the son of longtime Wildcats assistant Sean Snyder.

Scant details surrounding the younger Snyder’s death have been released.  From the Mercury‘s report:

Emergency personnel responded to a medical call Wednesday afternoon in the 3300 block of Claflin Avenue in Manhattan. Riley County police confirmed that there had been a death but declined to give any further information.

The house at 3309 Claflin Ave. belongs to KTMW LLC, which is owned by Sean and Wanda Snyder, according to county records.

The football program is expected to release a statement or statements on Matthew Snyder’s passing later on Thursday.

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to those affected by the young man’s death.

In the retiring Chayce Crouch, Illinois loses second QB in one day

Getty Images
1 Comment

Wednesday evening, Jeff George Jr. announced that he was leaving the Illinois football program as a graduate transfer.  A short time later, another of his fellow Fighting Illini quarterbacks confirmed his exit as well — albeit with a twist.

On his personal Twitter account, Chayce Crouch announced that not only is he leaving the Illini but he’s leaving the sport, period. “I don’t think there’s anything left to give,” the redshirt junior wrote. “I have decided to hang up the cleats and end my career as a Fighting Illini.

“At this point in my life, this is what is best for me.”

Crouch started the first four games of the 2017 season before being benched in favor of George Jr. in early October; he started another game later on in the year.  The Ohio native finishes his collegiate career completing 78 of his 157 passes for 852 yards, four touchdowns and six interceptions.  He also ran for 360 yards and another four touchdowns on 108 carries.

With the departures of Crouch and George, rising sophomore Cam Thomas is the only scholarship quarterback currently on the Illini’s roster.  A three-star recruit signed last December, MJ Rivers, won’t enroll until the summer.  There’s also the possibility of adding another recruit during the “usual” February signing period, and there’s also the possibility (probability?) that a graduate transfer at the position will be added as well.