Thursday, May 30, 2024

UTSA to begin American Athletic Conference competition in 2023

UTSA to begin American Athletic Conference competition in 2023

JUNE 15, 2022 — UTSA has reached an entrance agreement to begin competition in the American Athletic Conference on July 1, 2023.

The establishment of the entry date comes after The American reached agreement with its three exiting schools —Cincinnati, Houston and UCF — to terminate their conference membership as of June 30, 2023. The American had announced in October that UTSA, along with Charlotte, UAB, Florida Atlantic, North Texas and Rice, had their applications for membership approved by the conference’s nine continuing members.

“We are thrilled about joining the American Athletic Conference in 2023 and continuing to elevate UTSA as a national brand,” said UTSA Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lisa Campos. “This new conference affiliation will be a tremendous opportunity for our university and the City of San Antonio. We could not be more excited and optimistic about what the future holds.

“We are sincerely appreciative to Commissioner Judy MacLeod, the Conference USA Board and the league office for working with us throughout this transition,” Campos added, “and we look forward to finishing our decade-long membership in C-USA on a strong note.”

“This new conference affiliation will be a tremendous opportunity for our university and the City of San Antonio.”

UTSA players rush the field after a game-winning field goal delivered the Roadrunners to a 31-28 victory over Memphis on September 25, 2021. UTSA will join Memphis in the American Athletic Conference starting in July 2023. Photo courtesy of UTSA Athletics

The six new members will join East Carolina, Memphis, Navy (football only), South Florida, SMU, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa and Wichita State (basketball and Olympic Sports only) to bring The American’s membership to 15 schools, beginning with the 2023-24 academic year. The American will compete as a 14-team league in football and in men’s and women’s basketball among other sports.

“We are extremely pleased and excited to welcome our new members to the conference in 2023, as we begin our second decade,” said American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco. “Our incoming schools comprise a distinguished group with attributes that will enhance our conference’s Power 6 goals. We have already seen the investment and commitment that these institutions have made as they prepare to compete in The American, and, together with our accomplished incumbent institutions, the conference is assured of many years of championship-level competition as part of a bright future that will build on the extraordinary legacy of the past decade.”

The American will have a presence in four of the top 10, seven of the top 25 and 12 of the top 51 Nielsen media markets. The league will have four teams in the state of Texas, two each in Florida and North Carolina and one each in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Oklahoma and Kansas.

As a member of The American, UTSA will enjoy greater national media exposure, enhanced brand recognition, more Texas team match-ups and expanded recruiting opportunities, furthering the university’s ability to compete at the highest level.

UTSA competes in 17 intercollegiate sports — baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s golf, women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track & field and women’s volleyball — at the NCAA Division I level.

UTSA boasts 77 conference championships, more than 60 NCAA postseason appearances, nearly 50 All-Americans and 21 Academic All-Americans in its 41-year history of Division I athletics.

The university has been a member of Conference USA since July 2013. Prior to that, it was a member of the Western Athletic Conference in 2012-13 after more than two decades in the Southland Conference from 1991 to 2012. The Roadrunners began as an NCAA Division I Independent in 1981 before joining the Trans America Athletic Conference (now Atlantic Sun) in 1986.

The American Athletic Conference was reconstituted in 2013 and serves its members from its headquarters in Irving, Texas. The American sponsors 22 championships, 10 for men and 12 for women, has television partnerships with ESPN, CBS Sports (for select men’s basketball games) and CBS Sports Network (for most Navy home football games), and has a marketing partnership with LEARFIELD.

Kyle Stephens

UTSA Today is produced by University Strategic Communications,
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of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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