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Texas baseball introduces Jim Schlossnagle as 15th head coach in program history – The Daily Texan

Two days ago, Jim Schlossnagle sat in the dugout at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, the weight of Aggie Nation on his back. The school had never won an NCAA championship in any of the three major sports, and in his third year with the team, fans hoped he could be their savior.

This morning, Schlossnagle dumped the A&M Maroon for Texas Longhorn Burnt Orange as president Jay Hartzell, chairman Kevin Eltife and athletic director Chris Del Conte welcomed him as the program’s 15th head coach.

“In some ways this was a very easy decision because of my relationship with Chris (Del Conte) in my past, and my belief in him and his wife Robin,” Schlossnagle said. “But it was obviously very difficult. There are many decisions in life where you cannot choose the timing. You don’t meet your team the way you would like. And for that I am sorry.”

Schlossnagle and Del Conte, winner of the 2024 SBJ Athletic Director of the Year Award, go way back. From 2009 to 2017, Del Conte was athletic director at TCU, where Schlossnagle was the baseball coach. Del Conte was very involved with the program and even found himself in the dugouts of their most important baseball games, creating a strong bond between them.

“I long for a great leader. I need a great leader. And I study leadership, and (Del Conte) is the best leader I have ever known,” Schlossnagle said. “We’ve done this before, and even though it was super, super difficult and emotional to make this decision because of my love for the people at Texas A&M, I just couldn’t pass up this opportunity.”

Schlossnagle’s move undoubtedly stirred controversy, but it also brought new life to a struggling program. In three years at Texas A&M, he won nearly 70% of his games, led the team to two College World Series appearances and nearly took the crown Monday before falling to Tennessee.

According to Schlossnagle, the move all happened quickly. During the College World Series, Texas parted ways with head coach David Pierce, opening up the opportunity for a new heir to take the position. Schlossnagle, who was focused on bringing A&M to greatness, wasn’t focused on the position, but was aware of the opportunity that had just opened up.

“(On Tuesday) when we landed, we went back with a few guys before the decision was made, just to kind of give them a heads up that I had to make a decision,” Schlossnagle said of informing his team and staff. “(Del Conte) and I have been friends all my life. We talk all the time, but Texas had a baseball coach. But when they made that decision (about Pierce), at the end of our game the other night, we had a serious conversation.”

After the official press conference, Del Conte explained how the decision was made. Del Conte went to College Station on Tuesday to negotiate with Schlossnagle, and spent the first hour and a half of their conversation just talking about emotions and the loss on Monday. The two met in a cemetery, the only place that seemed far enough from the public, and came to a decision together.

Schlossnagle got into that car as Aggie and got out of a Longhorn.

Schlossnagle brought with him a talented cast of staff. Associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Nolan Cain, pitching coach Max Weiner and hitting coach Michael Earley joined Schlossnagle from A&M, adding to an already superstar hire.

Schlossnagle’s hiring marks a milestone in Texas athletics and is a testament to the strength of the entire athletics department. But the success the team has had over the past year, whether it’s winning the Learfield Directors’ Cup or hiring some of the best coaches in college athletics, can be attributed to one man: Chris Del Conte . Del Conte is the reason Texas entered the SEC and now has one of the best coaches and possibly a team in college baseball.