Click here to watch a video of the press conference announcing the new conference affiliation.
Boise State University announced Wednesday that it is joining the BIG EAST Conference as a football-only member, effective July 1, 2013. Most of Boise State’s other athletic teams, including men’s and women’s basketball, will compete in the Western Athletic Conference, also effective July 1, 2013.
Joining the BIG EAST along with Boise State are the Broncos’ western partners San Diego State University (football only), the University of Houston, Southern Methodist University, and the University of Central Florida (all-sports members). Long-term football membership also will include current BIG EAST participants Connecticut, Cincinnati, Louisville, Rutgers and South Florida.
“The inclusion of these five great universities, which bring a unique blend of premier academics, top markets, strong athletic brands and outstanding competitive quality, marks the beginning of a new chapter in that evolution,” said BIG EAST Commissioner John Marinatto. “We are proud to welcome these schools to the BIG EAST family.”
Western Athletic Conference membership for 2013 is expected to include Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State and Utah State, plus newcomers Denver, Seattle, Texas State, UT-Arlington and UT-San Antonio.
Boise State President Bob Kustra
“Today’s announcement represents another significant step forward in the evolution of the Bronco football program and in the incredible growth of Boise State University. The move to the BIG EAST Conference makes a powerful statement about our vision for the future of the football program, and more than ever will showcase the Broncos in the national spotlight. We also look forward to rekindling some outstanding rivalries in the WAC, and continuing the development of our basketball programs and other sports.”
Head Football Coach Chris Petersen
“Growing our football program is something that we are always working on, and joining the BIG EAST Conference will help us do just that. We will be facing outstanding competition from around the country and it will expand our national brand into new regions. Our fans will get to see new and exciting teams visit Bronco Stadium and it also will allow them to travel to new destinations. This move is going to be great for our program.”
Men’s Basketball Coach Leon Rice
“Conference realignment is continuously changing the landscape of college athletics, but it doesn’t change what we are trying to accomplish. We’re excited about the progress we’re making with this team, and we will continue to work toward building a program that can be competitive on a national level.”
Women’s Basketball Coach Gordy Presnell
“We saw great success in the Western Athletic Conference, winning two conference championships in our last six years. We also developed rivalries with programs in the league, and it will be nice to restore them.”
Incoming Athletic Director Mark Coyle
“Our new conference affiliations are about opportunities to expand our national outreach, develop new rivalries and destinations, and take our programs to a higher level. We are genuinely excited for our student-athletes and coaches to compete in the BIG EAST and WAC beginning in 2013.”
Interim Athletic Director Curt Apsey
“After a substantial amount of due diligence and extensive discussions with a wide variety of stakeholders, we have achieved the primary objectives that were laid out at the beginning of this process. Today’s announcement is the end result of a great deal of hard work and planning by many people at Boise State, and we are very excited about the opportunities that these affiliations will provide.”
- Boise State’s wrestling team will continue to compete in the Pac-12 Conference.
- With today’s additions to the conference, the BIG EAST media markets will have a potential television audience of nearly 28 million households.
- Once the BIG EAST football membership reaches 12 schools, the conference will divide into two divisions, with the division champions playing in a conference championship game.
- The BIG EAST Conference has agreed to facilitate discussions regarding the scheduling of non-conference basketball games with current BIG EAST schools.