UCF will compete in the American Athletic Conference for one more athletic season, then transition to membership in the Big 12 Conference beginning in 2023-24.
That became official today with the announcement by AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco that The American and UCF have reached an agreement regarding UCF’s departure from The American and its subsequent move to the Big 12.
Under the terms of the agreement, The American’s member institutions voted, in accordance with conference bylaws, to end UCF’s membership, effective July 1, 2023. Joining UCF in the move from the AAC will be the University of Cincinnati and the University of Houston.
“First, I would like to thank Mike Aresco and the leadership of the American Athletic Conference for its cooperation as all three schools worked through this matter over recent months,” said Terry Mohajir, UCF vice president and director of athletics.
“UCF teams in the American have produced many championships and other memorable moments. The 2022-23 athletics seasons will conclude a full decade for UCF in the AAC, and we are proud of the contributions we’ve made to grow and enhance the stature of the conference. We’re proud to participate and compete in this very competitive league for one more year.
“We are pleased that we were able to conclude these negotiations and now confirm our transition to Big 12 Conference membership for 2023-24.”
Added Aresco, “I would like to thank UCF President N. Alexander Cartwright, Cincinnati President Neville Pinto and Houston President Renu Khatour — as well as Tulane President Michael Fitts, who is chair of our Board of Directors — for their efforts and leadership to arrive at a sensible resolution to the three schools’ departure from the conference. All three institutions enjoyed tremendous success under the American Athletic Conference banner, and all three were instrumental in taking the conference to great heights, both athletically and academically. We wish them the best and look forward to having them compete in our conference in 2022-23.”
The three presidents — UCF’s Cartwright, Cincinnati’s Pinto and Houston’s Khatour — issued a joint statement: “It has been a privilege for our universities to compete at the highest level in the American Athletic Conference where our programs have grown and flourished, both athletically and academically. To be part of The American’s climb to national prominence in recent years is something we’ll always look back on with great pride. We are especially grateful to Commissioner Aresco and his staff for their efforts during this process and look forward to an outstanding year of competition in 2022-23.”
In its nine seasons in the AAC, Knight teams have won five conference championships each in volleyball and rowing, four in football, three each in men’s soccer, women’s soccer and softball, two each in women’s indoor track and field, women’s tennis and women’s golf and one each in women’s outdoor track and field, men’s tennis and baseball.