Houston to launch Big 12 conference competition in 2023
HOUSTON– The University of Houston today reached an exit agreement with the American Athletic Conference to end its decade-long membership on July 1, 2023, setting the stage for the Cougars to join the Big 12 Conference at the next fall.
The move opens the door for Houston to begin Big 12 competition in all sports in the 2023-24 college year. Last September, the Big 12 presidents voted to expand the league with four schools. In addition to the Cougars, the University of Cincinnati, University of Central Florida (UCF) and Brigham Young University (BYU) have accepted invitations.
“We look forward to finishing strong in the American next year before starting a new era of Houston Athletics in the Big 12. The competition will be fierce, but we are prepared and ready for the challenge,” said Renu Khator. , University of Houston. President. “I am grateful to AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco and his team for their professionalism during our discussions. And while I look back with great pride on all that we have accomplished over the past decade, I I look forward to setting the bar even higher.”
“Today’s announcement comes with tremendous optimism and excitement. It is the product of many years of vision, leadership and dedication. As we look forward to the opportunity that is offered to us, we also thank the American Athletic Conference for the decade-long partnership,” said Chris PezmanHouston vice president for athletics.
Houston currently offers 17 athletic programs, including seven on the men’s side (baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer, golf, and track) and 10 on the women’s side (basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, athletics and volleyball).
Over its track and field history, Houston has recorded 162 conference championships with 17 NCAA team national championships and 68 NCAA individual national crowns. The Big 12 Conference will be the seventh league Houston Athletics will participate in in its award-winning history.
Houston began track and field competition as a member of the Lone Star Conference from 1946-47 to 1948-49 and played the 1949-50 season in the Gulf Coast Conference. After one season as an independent, the Cougars played for nine seasons in the Missouri Valley Conference (1951-52 to 1959-60) before spending another 16 years as an independent (1960-61 to 1975-76 ).
From there, the Cougars joined the Southwest Conference where they competed from 1976-77 through the 1995-96 campaign. Houston played for 17 years in Conference USA (1996-97 to 2012-13) and has competed as a member of the American Athletic Conference since 2013-14.