For The Love Of Coaching
Jody Conradt grew up in Goldthwaite, a small town near Austin, Texas, where sports were a way of life for both boys and girls. She attended Goldthwaite High School, where she played for the Eagles basketball team. During her high school career, she was known for her determination and hard work and averaged forty points per game.
In 1959, she entered Baylor University in Waco, Texas, eventually earning a bachelor's and later a master's degree in physical education. The 5'7" athlete played on the school's inaugural varsity team, averaged twenty points per game, and earned four letters. As a teacher at Waco Midway High School, Conradt learned that coaching was where her heart lay when her mentor, M.T. Rice, one of the state's most successful girls' basketball coaches, asked her to help coach his team.
Conradt began her collegiate coaching career at Sam Houston State in Huntsville, Texas, in 1969. Named head basketball coach, she recorded a school record of 74-23, and also oversaw the women's volleyball and track teams. In 1973, she ventured to the University of Texas-Arlington where she coached basketball, volleyball, and softball and left with an Arlington basketball record of 43-39.
Conradt's career truly exploded in 1976 when she became head coach at the University of Texas-Austin. With women's sports underrepresented, she created a model women's program that propelled the Lady Longhorns to a streak of successful seasons. The team ranked in the Top 20 her first year, followed by a 37-4 finish and Top 15 rank the second year, and Top 5 rank the third year. By 1980, Conradt had led her team to a 33-4 season and she had won National Coach of the Year, a title she would wear four times during her career.
The Longhorns were fast becoming one of the most successful basketball teams in the country winning six consecutive AIAW tournaments. During this time, Conradt's accolades continued to accumulate. She joined the NCAA in 1982 and brought her team to the top four straight years. She became a five-time Southwestern Conference Coach of the Year between 1984 and 1996, and was inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame in 1986.