Big East Conference

U.S. college athletic conference that began in 2013
St. John's University playing baseball against Georgetown University

The Big East Conference is a college sports conference in the United States which sponsors many sports, but does not play football. The league has its roots in the original Big East Conference, which was founded in 1979 as a basketball-focused league by a group of schools in the Eastern U.S. That league added football in 1991, leading to years of conflict between schools that played top-level football and those that did not. In July 2013, the original league split along football lines. The seven schools that did not play FBS (top-level) football—often called the "Catholic 7" because all are run by the Catholic Church—bought the "Big East" name and formed a new Big East. The FBS schools joined with several new members and stayed in the original Big East structure under the new name of American Athletic Conference (The American).

Although the current Big East was not founded until 2013, it claims the 1979 founding date of the original Big East. Both the current Big East and The American claim the pre-split history of the old Big East.

MembersEdit

All current full members of the Big East are private schools. All are also Catholic except for Butler, which was started by Protestants but has never been run by any church. UConn (Connecticut) will become the Big East's first public school in July 2020.

School Location Founded Type
(affiliation)
Nickname Joined
Big East[a 1]
Butler University Indianapolis, Indiana 1855 Private (nonsectarian) Bulldogs 2013
Creighton University Omaha, Nebraska 1878 Private/Catholic
(Jesuit)
Bluejays 2013
DePaul University Chicago, Illinois 1898 Private/Catholic
(Vincentian)
Blue Demons 2005
Georgetown University Washington, D.C. 1789 Private/Catholic
(Jesuit)
Hoyas 1979
Marquette University Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1881 Private/Catholic
(Jesuit)
Golden Eagles 2005
Providence College Providence, Rhode Island 1917 Private/Catholic
(Dominican)
Friars 1979
Saint John'sSt. John's University New York City, New York 1870 Private/Catholic
(Vincentian)
Red Storm 1979
Seton Hall University South Orange, New Jersey 1856 Private/Catholic
(Diocesan)
Pirates 1979
Villanova University Villanova, Pennsylvania 1842 Private/Catholic
(Augustinian)
Wildcats 1980
Xavier University Cincinnati, Ohio 1831 Private/Catholic
(Jesuit)
Musketeers 2013
  1. Dates are when the schools joined either version of the Big East.

Future memberEdit

School Location Founded Type
(affiliation)
Nickname Joining
University of Connecticut (UConn) Storrs, Connecticut 1881 Public Huskies 2020[a]
  1. UConn had been a member of the original Big East from 1979 until the 2013 conference split.

Associate membersEdit

The Big East has six "associate members" that play either one or two sports in the conference. UConn's associate membership will be replaced by full membership in July 2020.

School Location Founded Type
(affiliation)
Joined Sport Current main conference Nickname
UConnUniversity of Connecticut (UConn) Storrs, Connecticut 1881 Public 2013 Field hockey American
(Big East in July 2020)
Huskies
DenverUniversity of Denver Denver, Colorado 1864 Private (nonsectarian) 2013 (men)
2016 (women)
Men's and women's lacrosse The Summit Pioneers
Liberty University Lynchburg, Virginia 1971 Private (nondenominational) 2016 Field hockey ASUN Lady Flames
Old Dominion University Norfolk, Virginia 1930 Public 2013
2018
Field hockey
Women's lacrosse
Conference USA Monarchs
Quinnipiac University Hamden, Connecticut 1929 Private (nonsectarian) 2016 Field hockey MAAC Bobcats
Temple University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1884 Public/private hybrid 2013 Field hockey American Owls

Former membersEdit

No full member of the Big East has left for another conference. However, seven associate members have left the Big East in one or more sports, with five entirely leaving the Big East.

Two schools that were associate members in the 2013–14 school year left to join conferences that play the sports that they housed in the Big East. Five women's lacrosse members left after the 2017–18 school year when the American Athletic Conference, full-time home to three of those schools, started a women's lacrosse league. Two of these schools, Temple and UConn, stayed in the Big East in field hockey. UConn, which left Big East women's lacrosse for its then-current all-sports home of The American, will return to the Big East in July 2020.

School Location Founded Type Joined Left Sport(s) Current main
conference
Current conference
in former Big East sport(s)
Nickname
LouisvilleUniversity of Louisville Louisville, Kentucky 1798 Public 2013 2014 Field hockey, women's lacrosse ACC Cardinals
Rutgers University New Brunswick, New Jersey 1766 Public 2013 2014 Field hockey, men's & women's lacrosse Big Ten Scarlet Knights
CincinnatiUniversity of Cincinnati Cincinnati, Ohio 1819 Public 2013 2018 Women's lacrosse American Bearcats
FloridaUniversity of Florida Gainesville, Florida 1853 Public 2014 2018 Women's lacrosse SEC American Gators
Temple University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1884 Public/private hybrid 2013 2018 Women's lacrosse American Owls
UConnUniversity of Connecticut (UConn) Storrs, Connecticut 1881 Public 2013 2018 Women's lacrosse American
(Big East in July 2020)
Huskies
Vanderbilt University Nashville, Tennessee 1873 Private (nonsectarian) 2014 2018 Women's lacrosse SEC American Commodores

ReferencesEdit

  • "Big East Conference". bigeast.com. Retrieved 2014-05-29.