Jody Conradt’s childhood revolved around community, family, friends and sports in the small West Texas town of Goldthwaite. Her love was basketball. Her aspirations were to teach. Fortunately, she resided in a state that prides itself on passion, opportunity and can-do attitude. Armed with those traits, a graceful, compassionate style, Texas-sharp wit and humor, and a desire to bring education and sport opportunities to young women, Conradt emerged as a visionary leader for women’s college basketball and women’s sports administration.
Conradt was a high school teacher and assistant girls’ basketball coach under legendary Waco Midway school administrator M.T. Rice. Later, North Carolina’s Dean Smith and his Tar Heels’ run-and-jump full-court press inspired her eventual coaching style.
After coaching at Sam Houston State and serving as coach/women’s athletics director at UT-Arlington, Conradt’s classroom became a 16,000-seat arena at The University of Texas at Austin. In 38 years as a collegiate head coach, Conradt’s players won 900 games. More important, 99 percent of her players graduated. Speak with her former student-athletes, and they agree on Conradt’s life lessons: hold integrity and team goals above all, work on self-discipline and organization, embrace diversity and tolerance, commit to honest and effective communication, maintain presence and exhibit class.
As only the second woman ever inducted into the Springfield, Mass. Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Conradt is known as a pioneer, but also a durable, dynamic and ethical leader who gave credibility to her sport during 31 years as head coach with the Longhorns. With a full-out style that was unprecedented and unmatched during its time, Conradt led the 1985-86 Longhorns to a 34-0 record and national championship, the NCAA’s first perfect season in the sport.
From 1992-2001, Conradt served UT in a dual role as basketball coach and women’s athletics director, and she currently serves as a special assistant to women’s athletics. Conradt received her B.S. and M.S. in physical education at Baylor University.