The University of Central Florida Board of Trustees voted unanimously Friday to accept an invitation for UCF to join the Big 12 Conference, a move that will raise the university’s national profile and expand opportunities for UCF’s student-athletes to compete at the highest level. BYU, Cincinnati and Houston also joined the Big 12 Conference on Friday.
Last season, nine UCF teams competed in the postseason. UCF football has won 42 of its last 50 games, which ranks fifth in the nation behind Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Notre Dame, and the football team has competed in three New Year’s Six bowl games during the past seven seasons.
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said that the current AAC teams UCF, Cincinnati and Houston will join no later than July 1, 2024, and it’s possible they will join BYU in joining the Big 12 for the 2023-2024 season.
“Many of the decisions we have made in the past have been transformative for this institution. They may have been decisions to add degree programs, decisions to establish a medical school and teaching hospital, a decision to add a downtown campus or a decision to initiate what is today the second-ranked hospitality school in the world.” said Board of Trustees Chair Alex Martins.
“As we strive to become the world’s leading metropolitan research university, we know our achievements in our classrooms and laboratories, and in our community are enhanced by our national recognition in athletic competition, and this invitation will only strengthen that relationship,” said President Alexander N. Cartwright. “We are a young, energetic, entrepreneurial, and bold institution with a culture of compassion that is focused on building a better future for society. Since our first classes 53 years ago, the UCF we all love has been built by people who have been willing to challenge the status quo …….and who believed, if there is a better way, we should do it.”
This invitation to the Big 12 is a testament to our collective achievements and the outstanding accomplishments of our student-athletes and our coaches over many years as we built our athletic program.
Vice President and Director of Athletics Terry Mohajirm shared, “This is a landmark day for anyone ever associated with UCF or UCF Athletics. As we anticipate a future move to the Big 12 Conference, we first owe a vote of thanks to all those at UCF who have gone before us. There’s a long list of student-athletes, coaches, athletics directors, university presidents and support staff, fans and donors and, of course, our student body, plus so many others whose hard work and successes have helped pave the way for today’s announcement. The bases were already loaded, and I feel very blessed and honored to get to step up to the plate on behalf of UCF.”