In 1913 the Board of Regents at UT offered the directorship of athletics to L. Theo Bellmont, who served in that capacity until 1957. The job included the supervision of Intercollegiate Athletics, as well as physical training and intramurals. He successfully modernized the Intercollegiate Athletics Program, and established the Intramural Sports Program that was the first of its kind and is now one of the best in the nation. He also founded and strengthened the Department of Physical Training for Men and the Department of Physical and Health Education. With his support, Gregory Gym and Anna Hiss Gym were built.
The University of Tennessee law student – a former football player, basketball player, gymnast and track runner – 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; helped to create the Southwest Conference; 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 OU Weekend. Bellmont became one of the first individuals to be named to the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1957.
Constructed in 1972, Bellmont Hall is an 11-level, 500-foot tall 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. Bellmont Hall provides facilities for martial arts, squash, weight training/conditioning, and dance. In addition to RecSports activities, the building also continues to house the offices of the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, and the athletics ticket office.