TCU will move from the Mountain West to the Big East Conference beginning July 1, 2012.
The Horned Frogs will be the 17th Big East member and will bring the number of football schools in the conference to nine. TCU officials said the conference’s wide media reach will raise the Horned Frogs’ profile in all sports.
“Joining the Big East will enhance our student-athlete experience and continue raising TCU’s visibility on a national level,” said Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. “We have many championship-winning teams within our athletics program, and student-athletes across the board will now enjoy greater recognition. This move also provides an opportunity for TCU to recruit more students in different areas across the country, which will further diversify our student body.”
Athletics Director Chris Del Conte said achieving BCS automatic-qualifying status and keeping all sports together in one league were critical to any conference movement.
“We take tremendous pride in having a nationally prominent athletics program, and joining the Big East Conference will allow us to further grow our brand and increase our visibility and exposure,” Del Conte said. “We are most appreciative of our time in the Mountain West Conference. The league helped elevate us across the board. We treasure the relationships we formed and the outstanding leadership provided by Commissioner Craig Thompson.”
Big East officials touted the addition as one that will ensure the future success of the league.
“Our membership is genuinely excited to add an institution of the caliber of TCU to our conference,” said Commissioner John Marinatto. “Chancellor Boschini and Athletics Director Chris Del Conte clearly share the same academic and athletics aspirations of our current members and are similarly committed to sponsoring a very highly competitive athletics program. Located in one of the top five media markets in the country, TCU also enables the Big East to extend its media footprint, which already encompasses more than a quarter of the country.”
The Mountain West added Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada to its roster earlier this year but lost Brigham Young to the West Coast Conference beginning next summer.