Texas AD Chris Del Conte street journeys with Longhorns fan to March Insanity

, Texas AD Chris Del Conte street journeys with Longhorns fan to March Insanity

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MILWAUKEE — Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte wins the award for many devoted fan.

Or possibly the craziest, for driving from Austin to Milwaukee — roughly 1,200 miles — in about 18 hours for the NCAA Match.

How Del Conte ended up leaving the airport, selecting up a UT fan and his son, and driving throughout America is a wild journey that solely “CDC” can inform. All of it started with airplane bother early Thursday morning on the Austin airport.

, Texas AD Chris Del Conte street journeys with Longhorns fan to March Insanity

“The primary flight obtained canceled, needed to get off the airplane. Mechanical points,” Del Conte advised the American-Statesman. “Second combat was delayed, and it was jampacked on Southwest, couldn’t get on. The third flight, I used to be attempting to go standby. They put me on a regional jet, however the fog got here rolling in so dangerous, that airplane needed to land in Waco, imagine it or not.”

So right here’s Del Conte, spending his entire day at Austin-Bergstrom Worldwide Airport nervous about attending to Fiserv Discussion board to look at the Longhorns on Friday. What’s an athletic director to do?

Extra:Texas basketball can exorcise NCAA Tournament demons with win over Virginia Tech

“So I look over to this man, who’s sitting there along with his son, they simply obtained off the airplane, they’re attempting to work it, possibly he goes standby, yada, yada, and I stated, ‘I do know you and your son are going to Wisconsin for a father-son journey. I’ll drive. C’mon, let’s go,’” Del Conte stated.

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, Texas AD Chris Del Conte street journeys with Longhorns fan to March Insanity

Texas fan Patrick Smith, recognized to buddies as “Wheels,” and his son Hodges have been joyful to affix Del Conte for a real my-friends-won’t-believe-this journey.

“Once we obtained to Dallas, my son stated, ‘Dad, what do you wish to do?’” Patrick Smith stated minutes earlier than Texas tipped off in opposition to Virginia Tech. “I used to be the deciding vote.”

Now they’ll have a narrative they will inform ceaselessly. 

The trio climbed into Del Conte’s Ford F-250 pickup and left Austin by midmorning. No less than, that’s as greatest as Del Conte remembers. His Twitter timeline turned one thing of a black-box recorder to seize the reminiscences.

“This was not a correctly thought out factor. Nothing logical,” Del Conte stated. “I did get to see Americana.”

The trio raced north on Interstate 35 to Dallas after which wound up on U.S. 69 to get via Oklahoma. “I don’t even know the roads,” Del Conte stated. “You simply press the buttons and the little woman on the machine tells you the place to go.”

Positive, Del Conte may have gotten to Dallas and known as a UT booster with entry to a airplane. However now with Smith and his son, he was dedicated to the open street.

“I obtained pulled over in Oklahoma,” Del Conte stated. “I look over and he says, ‘How briskly you going?’ I’m not likely positive. Then he goes, ‘It’s 45, however you’re going 60.’ However he stated, ‘Hold it straight,’ and walked away. An Oklahoma trooper did me a stable.

“He heard we have been going to the SEC and he stated, ‘Good work, buddy,’ and let me go.”

Then it was up the street into southern Missouri and ultimately Illinois. As the value of gasoline is now skyrocketing out of sight, there’s no telling how a lot it price Del Conte to drive via America’s heartland — on his personal dime. And naturally, they needed to cease quite a few occasions alongside the best way.

“Nicely, my man has the bladder of a walnut,” Del Conte stated. “So about each two hours, we have been stopping.”

They did cease for a fast chunk and eventually known as it an evening in Springfield, In poor health. — house of Abraham Lincoln. Based mostly on Del Conte’s Twitter account, they have been rolling via St. Louis earlier than 11 p.m.

“We pull in 12 o’clock and I stated, ‘Hey, man, I simply want two rooms, please.’ The man goes OK. One had a scorching tub, and he stated, ‘Please no important oils within the scorching tub.’ I’m like, what you speaking about? So we obtained two rooms, I stroll in, and there’s a scorching tub proper in the course of the bed room. 

“Whoa, what’s going on in Illinois that I would like to fret about?”

All people had a 6 a.m. wake-up name Friday, and so they completed off the drive into Milwaukee. Del Conte was speaking with the Statesman whereas sitting simply off the baseline at Fiserv Discussion board. He made it with loads of time to spare.

So now Del Conte has one other downside. He’s obtained to drive again — or work out a strategy to get his Ford again to Austin.

“We win two video games, you’re using again with me!” Del Conte stated. “We win a pair video games, we’ll be in fine condition.”

Win, lose or draw, Smith stated, “Yeah, we’re flying house.”  

Contact Brian Davis by cellphone or textual content at 512-445-3957. E mail [email protected] or @BDavisAAS.



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