From the current Big East….Tulsa to soon-to-be-named conference in 2014
UNIVERSITY OF TULSA JOINS CURRENT BIG EAST
BEGINNING IN 2014-15
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Big East Board of Directors, in a unanimous vote, has admitted The University of Tulsa to full membership, beginning July 1, 2014, in the soon-to-be-renamed and rebranded Conference.
The announcement was made by Commissioner Michael Aresco and marks a continuation of the dynamic reshaping of the Conference.
Tulsa’s entrance gives the Conference 11 all-sports members for 2014, adds a successful and broad-based athletic program and enhances the league’s geographic footprint. Navy will join the conference for football only in 2015, which will give the conference 12 football members and the ability to conduct a football championship game.
“The addition of The University of Tulsa marks another significant step in building a strong conference,” said Aresco. “In common with our member schools, Tulsa brings a rich academic profile, outstanding and storied athletic programs, and a devoted fan base. Under the leadership of President Steadman Upham, the University will be a valued member of our conference and will make us even more competitive across the collegiate landscape.”
“The University of Tulsa family and friends are extremely excited about this new conference,” said University of Tulsa President Steadman Upham. “TU’s profile as a nationally ranked research university continues to rise alongside the continued successes of our Golden Hurricane athletic program. We welcome the opportunity to align ourselves with institutions that share our commitment to excellence and integrity. Admission into the Conference provides a new avenue for growth as we seek to further engage loyal alumni, prospective students and their families and new TU fans,” said President Upham.
“Tulsa is an outstanding new member for our Conference,” said President Judy Genshaft of the University of South Florida and chair of the Conference Executive Committee. “Tulsa has high academic and athletic standards that fit well with our member institutions. We enthusiastically welcome Tulsa and President Steadman Upham to the Conference.”
Beginning with the 2014-15 academic year, the Conference will consist of the University of Central Florida, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Connecticut, East Carolina University, the University of Houston, the University of Memphis, Southern Methodist University, the University of South Florida, Temple University, Tulane University and the University of Tulsa. The U.S. Naval Academy will become a football-only member in 2015.
Founded in 1895, the University of Tulsa is a comprehensive, doctoral-degree granting institution. The private university provides undergraduate, graduate and professional education of the highest quality in the arts, humanities, sciences, business, education, engineering, law, nursing and applied health sciences. Tulsa has an enrollment of 3,160.
Tulsa competes in 18 intercollegiate sports. The school fields men’s teams in basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, and indoor and outdoor track & field. Women’s teams compete in basketball, cross country, golf, rowing, soccer, softball, tennis, indoor and outdoor track & field, and volleyball.
TU athletics has set a high standard of success and in the past eight seasons has won 49 conference championships. Tulsa ranked 17th in the final fall Learfield Sports Director’s Cup standings and in the 19 years of NACDA’s Sports Director’s Cup has placed among the top-100 universities 14 times.
Tulsa football has established itself as one of the nation’s winningest programs in the past decade with an average of 8.4 wins. The Golden Hurricane has made eight bowl game appearances in the past 10 years, while posting four 10-win seasons in the last six years. In 2012, Tulsa compiled an 11-3 record, won the Conference USA Championship and defeated Iowa State in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
One of college basketball’s greatest players of all-time, Danny Manning, is the head coach of the Tulsa men’s program. Manning directed the Hurricane to a 17-16 record in his first season in 2012-13 and a berth in the College Basketball Invitational. Since 1980, Tulsa basketball has made 21 postseason tournament appearances, including 13 NCAA tournaments with one Elite Eight and three Sweet 16 appearances, along with two NIT Championships.
The Tulsa women’s basketball team won the Conference USA Championship and competed in the 2013 NCAA Championship.
Tulsa’s NCAA appearances in the last three years have come in the sports of men’s & women’s cross country, women’s basketball, men’s & women’s golf, men’s soccer, softball, men’s & women’s tennis and women’s volleyball. The indoor and outdoor track & field teams regularly advance individuals to NCAA Championship competition.
In the last 15 years, more than $85 million has been invested in athletic facilities for TU student-athletes. The home of Tulsa football, Skelly Field at H.A.Chapman Stadium, was completely renovated in 2008, while the Mike Case Athletic Complex, which houses football and academic facilities, opened in 2007. The Hurricane Soccer & Track Stadium, Collins Family Softball Complex, the Michael D. Case Tennis Center, the Jack Zink Indoor Rowing Center and the J. Bird Shell Nest have all been built within the past 10 years. The home of Tulsa basketball and volleyball is the 8,355-seat Donald W. Reynolds Center, which opened in December 1998.