L. Theo Bellmont
September 24, 1881 - December 27, 1967
In 1913, the Board of Regents at UT offered the Directorship of Athletics to L. Theo Bellmont. The job included the supervision not only of Intercollegiate Athletics, but of physical training and intramurals. He successfully modernized the Intercollegiate Athletics Program, and established an Intramural Program that was the first of its kind and is now one of the best in the nation. He also founded the strengthened the Department of Physical Training for Men and the Department of Physical and Health Education. The University of Tennessee law student - a former football player, basketball player, gymnast and track man - dedicated himself to his job and accomplished more than could have been imagined. He inaugurated the idea of a prepayment plan for athletics which secured a yearly income for the program; organized the drive to build Memorial Stadium; founded the Texas Relays; and, early in his career, began the tradition of the Cotton Bowl game with the University of Oklahoma which is now known as the "OU Weekend." Bellmont was one of the first individuals named to the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1957.
Photo courtesy of:
Prints and Photographs Collection
Center for American History
The University of Texas at Austin
Constructed in 1972, Bellmont Hall is an 11-level, 500-foot building which was added within the support structure of Memorial Stadium's west side upper deck to house the offices of Intercollegiate Athletics, physical education facilities and lecture halls. The facility was named for L. Theo Bellmont, UT athletic director from 1913 to 1957, who was instrumental in the creation of Memorial Stadium and the Southwest Conference. With his support, the first UT men's intramural sports program was organized, and Gregory Gym and Anna Hiss Gym were built.
Bellmont Hall provides facilities for handball, racquetball, martial arts, squash, weight training/conditioning, and dance. In addition to RecSports activities, the building also continues to house the offices of the UT Intercollegiate Athletics coaches and administrators, the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, and the athletics ticket office.