Friday, January 12, 2024

By Jonah Goldberg

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – JAN. 12, 2024 – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley announced Friday that Vice President and Director of Athletics Chasse Conque has received a contract extension through 2028. 

UTRGV President Guy Bailey said the university is fortunate to have Conque leading its Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.

“Chasse is one of the premier athletic directors in the nation, consistently raising the bar for our athletics department through his outstanding leadership and unwavering commitment to the Rio Grande Valley,” Bailey said. "His transformative impact has not only enhanced our athletic programs but has also deepened our connection with the community. We are privileged to have such an accomplished leader at the helm, and we anticipate even greater accomplishments under his continued guidance.”

Conque, who signed a five-year contract when he joined UTRGV in 2019, is eligible for an extension every two years as stipulated in his contract. He received his first contract extension in 2021. 


Now in his fifth year at UTRGV, Conque has followed through on his intention to “Rally the Valley” as stated in his introductory press conference. His proclamation has become a rallying cry and a hashtag for not only athletics, but the university. Its significance has grown to mean both rallying the Valley behind UTRGV and UTRGV rallying in support of the Rio Grande Valley.

Making community service a priority is part of rallying the Valley, and UTRGV ranked seventh in NCAA Division I in community service hours in 2022-23. This includes engagement across the entire Valley, with youth clinics and competitions across multiple sports, including baseball, soccer, tennis and track & field in Cameron Country. UTRGV Athletics has also hosted Western Athletic Conference Championships in five different cities – Brownsville, Edinburg, Harlingen, McAllen and Pharr – across the Valley.

“I would like to thank President Bailey for his support and commitment to our entire department – our coaches, staff and student-athletes,” Conque said. “I have also been blessed to work with many talented and dedicated colleagues. The growth and success of UTRGV Athletics is due to their loyal commitment to the mission of this great university.” 

Academically, UTRGV student-athletes have thrived, currently sporting a department record 3.34 cumulative grade point average. During Conque’s tenure, UTRGV student-athletes have earned 543 Academic All-WAC and 1,334 AD Honor Roll awards. Last year, UTRGV Athletics posted the highest projected APR in department history at 990. 

UTRGV Athletics programs have experienced significant competitive success during Conque’s first four and a half years, most recently including the volleyball team winning the 2022 Western Athletic Conference Championship and the department earning the 2022-23 South Texas Showdown Championship.


Two new sports will soon be entering the fold, as Conque was instrumental in guiding UTRGV through a successful student referendum process in fall 2021 that was upheld by the UT System Board of Regents in fall 2022 to start football, women’s swimming & diving and marching band programs while expanding the spirit program. The football team will start competition in fall 2025 with a practice year starting in fall 2024. Women’s swimming & diving is scheduled to begin competition in 2024-25.

Before starting new sports, though, Conque made it his mission to ensure all athletic programs have first-class facilities, with more than $85 million in construction currently underway that will positively impact all 18 sports. This includes the construction of the Vaqueros Performance Center, a 45,000-plus-square-foot facility, that will house the football program and feature a state-of-the-art weight training, academic and sports medicine facilities for use by multiple teams, as well as two practice fields, one of which will be striped for both football and soccer.

These new spaces keep the emphasis on both the student-athlete and fan experience. UTRGV Athletics shattered multiple attendance records for the second straight year in 2022-23 as nearly 100,000 fans cheered on the Vaqueros, more than doubling overall attendance over the past 5 years.

The growing community support has led to record investment in corporate partnerships and ticket sales as well as unprecedented fundraising success. This support includes the two largest attended college basketball games in Rio Grande Valley history, with 6,674 fans watching a men’s doubleheader involving UTRGV and No. 4 Texas at Bert Ogden Arena on Nov. 21, 2022, and 6,591 fans watching UTRGV women’s basketball face No. 5 Texas at Bert Ogden Arena on Dec. 20, 2023. Additionally, UTRGV Athletics has already sold nearly 2,700 football season tickets for the inaugural 2025 season.

“The support from our region is the driving force behind the growth we are experiencing, and I am personally grateful for the Valley’s broad-based investment in our efforts,” Conque said. “My family and I have been blessed to call the Rio Grande Valley home since 2019 and we look forward to serving this great institution and doing our part to #RallyTheValley for many years to come.”


Conque has also led UTRGV Athletics into the consumables category, partnering with 5x5 Brewing Co. in Mission, Texas to create the first branded beer in the UT System – Los Vaqueros – in the spring of 2023. UTRGV Athletics followed that up by launching a branded salsa – Vaqueros Especial – in partnership with Tio Pelon’s in the fall of 2023. 

As UTRGV experiences unprecedented success, Conque is quick to credit the broad-based support and hard work from many.

“A successful Division I athletics program takes a village, and we are fortunate to have an incredibly strong and supportive village at UTRGV. We have the hardest working staff in the country, a community that is cheering us on, and a leadership team that is committed to the success of our student-athletes and coaches. That is the ultimate winning formula.”


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.