Friday, September 28, 2012
Texas to honor Jody Conradt
AUSTIN, Texas -- The University of Texas will honor former women's coach Jody Conradt with a 7-foot bronze statue inside the Longhorns' basketball arena.
Conradt coached Texas from 1976 to 2007, and finished with a career record of 900-307. Her 1985-86 team (34-0) was the sport's first undefeated national champion, and she was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998.
Texas officials said Friday the statue will be dedicated in a private ceremony on Oct. 5. It will be on permanent display in the Frank Erwin Center by the Longhorns' exhibition game against Incarnate Word on Oct. 30.
Former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt is expected to attend the dedication, which will include a video message from former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and recognition of the 40th anniversary Title IX, the federal law that bans sex discrimination in educational programs -- including sports. Conradt also was Texas' women's athletic director from 1992-2001.
Conradt will be just the second female public figure to have a statue dedicated on the Texas campus, joining civil rights champion and former U.S. Rep. Barbara Jordan.
Texas president Bill Powers called Conradt a "truly historic" figure.
"Of all the blockbuster statistics that paint the picture of Jody Conradt's storied career, the only number you really need to remember is 99. That's the percentage of her players who graduated," Powers said. "Her career is a reminder that when you make sure your players are students first, everything else falls into place."
Texas already has statues honoring former football coach Darrell Royal and Heisman Trophy winners Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams outside the football stadium.
The Conradt statue weighs 600 pounds and depicts her flashing the well-known "Hook'em Horns" hand signal. It was designed by New Jersey-based artist Brian Hanlon, the official sculptor for the Naismith Hall of Fame.