Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Chasse Conque today announced his resignation from Little Rock Athletics. Conque will depart Little Rock later this month to assume the role of vice president and director of athletics at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, Texas.
“Today is very bittersweet,” Conque said. “Over the past four and a half years, I have had the distinct opportunity to lead Little Rock Athletics and am very grateful to have witnessed some transformational years. Our competitive success and record-breaking academic achievements are just the tip of the iceberg.
“I have been blessed with the hardest working staff in the country and some amazingly dedicated coaches that have all worked to enhance the Trojan student-athlete experience. The Little Rock Trojan brand is stronger today because of their tireless work. I simply cannot thank the campus community, central Arkansas and all our fans and supporters for what they have contributed these past several years.”
Since being named the Trojans’ director of athletics in January 2015, Conque led a resurgence of Little Rock Athletics over the past four and a half years. Centering around the rebranding initiative of making the Trojans “Little Rocks Team,” the department has experienced success both on and off the playing surfaces.
During Conque’s tenure, Little Rock has won a combined 19 team and individual Sun Belt Conference championships with Trojan athletic programs combining for six NCAA tournament appearances. Both Little Rock’s men and women’s basketball teams have advanced to the round of 32 during his time while soccer and track and field have each represented the Trojans on college athletics’ biggest stage.
Promoted to vice chancellor and director of athletics in 2017, Conque has placed a major emphasis on success in the classroom as Little Rock has maintained its position as a leader among both the Sun Belt Conference and its peers in the state of Arkansas. The department set an impressive new record following the fall 2018 semester as the department’s cumulative GPA for all 15 programs was a 3.36 with 124 Trojan student-athletes recorded a 3.0 GPA or higher. The department currently boasts a cumulative GPA of 3.34
For six of the last seven years, Little Rock has posted the highest Graduation Success Rate of any NCAA Division I institution in the state of Arkansas, graduating 82 percent of Trojan student-athletes. Six Trojan athletic programs were recognized by their respective national organizations for academic excellence this past season.
Understanding the necessity of remaining competitive in Division I Athletics, Conque has been active in helping the department reach new heights. Since taking over as AD, the department’s budget has grown considerably, mainly through increased revenues and giving. After a record-breaking fundraising year in 2017-18 which saw the department raise a record $4.3 million, the department followed that up with just over $3 million in 2018-19 to bring its total to over $11 million over the past three years.
Conque helped Little Rock make national headlines in the spring of 2018, announcing the addition of Division I wrestling, the first program in the state of Arkansas, which begins competition this fall as a member of the Pac 12 Conference. Additionally, he has spearheaded a number of facility renovation projects, all with the goal to enhance the student-athlete experience.
“Lisa and I are grateful for the many friendships we have made and will forever pull for Little Rock’s Team,” Conque said. “With that said, I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to lead University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Athletics. UTRGV President Guy Bailey is building something special in the Rio Grande Valley, and I look forward to working with him and his leadership team to elevate Vaquero Athletics.”
A nationwide search for Little Rock’s new director of athletics will commence in the coming weeks.