OMAHA, Neb. -- Creighton University officially became a member of the BIG EAST Conference at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, July 1, 2013.
Creighton and fellow newcomers Butler and Xavier join a BIG EAST that retains DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's and Villanova. The partnership was announced on March 20, 2013 in New York.
The 2013-14 academic year will be the 35th in the history of the BIG EAST, a league synonymous with men's basketball that has evolved into a well-rounded league that competes nationally at the highest level in sports across the board. BIG EAST basketball squads have captured 13 titles in the last 14 years, including men's (Louisville) and women's (Connecticut) hoop titles in 2012-13.
Since opening its doors in 1979, the league has won 34 national championships in six different sports and 139 student-athletes have won individual national titles through 2012-13.
All 10 schools reside within a top-75 media market, including eight schools in a top-35 market.
The BIG EAST became a reality on May 31, 1979, following a meeting of athletic directors from Providence College, St. John’s, Georgetown and Syracuse universities. Seton Hall, Connecticut and Boston College completed the original seven school alliance.
What Others Are Saying About Creighton's Move to the BIG EAST
Timothy R. Lannon, S.J. Creighton President
"Athletic conference participation goes beyond the courts and playing fields. We see an opportunity for greatness, and we believe this new affiliation will enhance the visibility of the University through increased national exposure, improving our ability to recruit exemplary students and faculty and cultivate philanthropic opportunities.
"Through the many great accomplishments Creighton Athletics has achieved over a long period of time and our current sustained success, I am confident this opportunity will result in Creighton becoming even more relevant in Division I athletics. This is our moment. This is our great opportunity. This is a time for Creighton University to demonstrate standing strong for a great, great, future."
Bruce Rasmussen Director of Athletics
"We feel that joining the BIG EAST Conference gives us a greater opportunity to recruit, retain, develop, and graduate outstanding students and outstanding student-athletes. We know that continued success and excellence in each of our athletics programs will not be easy. We chose to join the BIG EAST not because it will be easy to be successful, we know it will be difficult. At Creighton University, we believe that goals that are difficult to achieve are the most worthwhile."
Elmar Bolowich Men's Soccer Coach
"We have joined the best soccer conference in the country based on last season's RPI ratings. It will be strong competition."
Kirsten Bernthal Booth Volleyball Coach
"We have loved playing in the Missouri Valley Conference, but this is the right move from both an athletic and academic perspective."
Greg McDermott Men's Basketball Coach
"It's great news for Creighton University long-term. What this can do for the profile of the University and our athletics program in general can be nothing but a positive."
Tom Lilly Men's & Women's Tennis Coach
"We are very excited about joining the BIG EAST Conference and taking that step up in athletics and in academics as a university. Creighton is such an amazing academic university and fantastic place to be and the move to the BIG EAST will spread that word to more people. The tennis teams will be playing the first conference championship at Flushing Meadows, home of the US Open tennis grand slam event. What a great way to start our participation in the BIG EAST."
Anthony Tolliver Men's Basketball Alum
"Joining the BIG EAST is a big step for Creighton. The BIG EAST will be really focused on basketball and I think it will elevate the level of play for all the schools in the conference. This is going to allow Creighton the opportunity to go to the next level in basketball, and other sports, as well."
Creighton Men's Basketball fell to the Providence Friars 74-65 in BIG EAST Conference action at...
Creighton Men's Basketball fell to #19 Seton Hall in BIG EAST Conference action...