L. Theodore (Theo) Bellmont, athletic director and professor at the University of Texas, son of Leo and Mary (Lutz) Bellmont, was horn in Rochester, New York, on September 24, 1881. He attended schools in Rochester and then the University of Tennessee, from which he received an LL.B. degree in 1908. While there, he was active in athletics, college politics, and fraternal organizations. From 1908 until 1913 he was secretary of the YMCA in Houston. In 1913 he was employed by the University of Texas as director of athletics, a post that included the supervision of intercollegiate athletics, physical training, and intramural sports. He later became professor and director of physical training for men. During his career at UT he pulled the athletic program out of debt and in three years had it showing a profit; helped organize the Southwest Conference in 1914–15; started the annual football series at the State Fair of Texas, now the Texas-Oklahoma game; inaugurated the blanket tax for student admission to UT athletic contests; was cofounder of the Texas Relays; organized an intramural sports program; organized the T Association to honor UT athletes; and was a major force in raising the money with which to build Memorial Stadium.
In 1910 he married Freda Alice (Fritz) Jucket in Chicago. They had two children and seven grandchildren. In 1917 Bellmont went to the School of Military Aeronautics in Austin as a first lieutenant and became a captain. He was sent as a pilot to Kelly Field (see KELLY AIR FORCE BASE) in San Antonio, where he was a flight instructor. He returned to his duties at UT in the fall of 1919. In 1957 he retired as professor and director emeritus. Bellmont was a member of the Rotary Club and served two years as the local president, was a vestryman at All Saints Episcopal Church for twenty-five years, organized and led the Capital City American Legion Post, was a YMCA director for many years, headed the Travis County chapter of the American Red Cross for a period, and was a Scottish Rite Mason and a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He also served on grand juries, the local tax-appraisal board, and the board of equalization. Bellmont Hall on the campus of the University of Texas was named for him in 1972. He was one of the first four named to the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1957. Bellmont died on December 27, 1967, and was buried in Austin Memorial Park.
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Austin American-Statesman, December 28, 1967. Richard Pennington, "For Texas I Will": The History of Memorial Stadium (Austin: Historical Publications, 1992). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Physical Education, Home Economics, and Health
Sports and Recreation
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Margaret C. Berry,
“Bellmont, L. Theodore,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 19, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
November 1, 1994