EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The University of Texas System Board of Regents on Thursday approved a contract extension for UTRGV Vice President and Director of Athletics Chasse Conque.
UTRGV President Guy Bailey reported the extension had been discussed and agreed upon in August and was awaiting BOR approval.
Conque received a five-year contract when he joined UTRGV in 2019. His new agreement runs through 2026. As stipulated in his contract, Conque is eligible for an extension every two years.
“After evaluating his first two years at UTRGV, there was no doubt in my mind that Chasse deserved an extension,” Bailey said. “I have worked with many athletic directors in my career, and Chasse is one of the best I’ve worked with and one of the best in the country. Under his leadership, our athletics department has flourished in competition and in the classroom.”
Conque said he appreciates all the support he has received since joining UTRGV and looks forward to spending many more years in the Rio Grande Valley.
“My family and I are blessed to call the Rio Grande Valley our home,” he said. “We are most grateful for President Bailey’s support and his belief in the direction of UTRGV Athletics.
“I am fortunate to work with a dedicated group of administrators, coaches, and student-athletes. It’s powerful when everyone is rowing in the same direction, and it’s well documented that we are in the midst of exciting times at UTRGV,” Conque said. “The sky’s the limit. I’m blessed to serve this great institution and region for years to come.”
UTRGV athletics programs have experienced significant competitive success during Conque’s first two and a half seasons, including the volleyball team’s 17 winning matches and a second-place finish in the Western Athletic Conference Southwest Division this year.
Some of the highlights for UTRGV from 2020-21 include:
- Desirea Buerge reaching the semifinals of the U.S. Track & Field Olympic Trials.
- Track & field teams combining for eight WAC Championships.
- Baseball reaching the WAC Tournament Championship Series for first time in program history.
- Men’s soccer, under first-year head coach Bryheem Hancock, earning a Top-25 ranking in the United Soccer Coaches Poll for the first time in program history.
With the second half of the 2020 spring semester and the entire 2020-21 academic year conducted online, Conque moved to make sure all academic services would continue to be available to student-athletes.
UTRGV student-athletes met the challenge by increasing the departmental cumulative grade point average (GPA) to 3.23, including a department record of 3.48 GPA in spring 2020.
During Conque’s tenure, UTRGV student-athletes have earned 214 Academic All-WAC and 770 AD Honor Roll awards.
During his introductory press conference on Aug. 27, 2019, Conque said he intended to “Rally the Valley” behind UTRGV Athletics. Since then, Rally the Valley has become both a rallying cry and a hashtag not only for athletics but also for the university, as its meaning has grown to mean both rallying the Valley behind UTRGV and UTRGV rallying in support of the Valley.
UTRGV Athletics has rallied behind the Valley in a big way, currently ranking sixth in NCAA Division I in community service hours as a department. UTRGV finished 20th in the nation in community service during Conque’s first year.
Conque has placed an emphasis on bringing UTRGV Athletics to both campuses. This year, through a partnership with the City of Brownsville, both soccer teams played matches in Brownsville, with the women’s team also hosting a free youth clinic, while the golf and tennis teams have hosted free youth clinics in Brownsville. The tennis teams are set to return for matches in the spring. Both basketball teams are set to play on South Padre Island as part of annual events, including the men’s Battle on the Beach on Saturday and the women’s South Padre Island Classic on Dec. 17-18.
Additionally, UTRGV Athletics broke the all-time department record for basketball season tickets sold this year, more than doubling the total since 2018-19.