AUSTIN, Texas — A statue commemorating the likeness of former University of Texas women’s basketball coach and women’s athletics director Jody Conradt will be unveiled in a ceremony at the Frank Erwin Center on Friday, Oct. 5. The statue will be located on the concourse at the Erwin Center. Conradt was the women’s basketball coach at Texas for 31 seasons (1976-2007) and also served in a dual role as basketball coach and women’s athletics director from 1992-2001.
Conradt will become just the second female public figure to have a statue dedicated on The University of Texas at Austin campus. The late congresswoman and civil rights champion Barbara Jordan was honored in April 2009 with a statue at the Battle Oaks, at 24th and Whitis streets near the Texas Union. Conradt also joins a select group of former UT coaches and athletes to receive the honor, including Darrell K Royal (Football), Earl Campbell (Football) and Ricky Williams (Football).
Based on space limitations, this will be a private, invitation-only event. Fans and the general public are encouraged to come to the Frank Erwin Center to see the statue in its permanent location for the first time on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at the UT Women’s Basketball exhibition game against Incarnate Word (7 p.m.).
The tribute on Oct. 5 will be held in the Lone Star Room at the Erwin Center from 3:30-5 p.m. The program will include appearances from Pat Summitt (University of Tennessee women’s basketball Coach Emeritus), UT President Bill Powers, UT Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds, a special video message from the Honorable Condoleezza Rice (former U.S. Secretary of State) and a recognition of the 40th anniversary of Title IX legislation.
The 600-pound bronze statue is seven-feet tall, mounted on a granite base and depicts Conradt in a pose where she is flashing the well-known “Hook ‘em Horns” hand sign. New Jersey based artist Brian Hanlon was commissioned to create the statue. Hanlon is a classically-trained Master Sculptor and founder of Hanlon Sculpture Studio (Toms River, N.J.). Since 1991, Hanlon has sculpted over 300 public art pieces, specializing in bronze statues, and is the Official Sculptor for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The clay model was started last winter and was designed using many photographs of Conradt. Graphically-designed panels (96” x 96”) by Hanlon Sculpture Studio provide a backdrop to the statue and display pictures depicting Conradt’s career achievements and impact on the game of basketball and The University of Texas. Included in the panels is a television monitor displaying highlights and other feature content.
Conradt was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998, becoming just the second woman at the time to be inducted into the prestigious Hall. She led the 1985-86 Longhorns to a 34-0 record and national championship, the NCAA’s first perfect season by a Division I school in the sport of women’s basketball. During her 31 seasons in Austin, Conradt led the Longhorns to a 783-245 record. In her 38 seasons as a collegiate head coach, she compiled an overall record of 900-307.