PROVIDENCE - Commissioner Mike Aresco has announced the addition of Tulane University, one of the most highly regarded and selective independent research institutions in the United States that boasts one of the oldest and most storied athletics programs in the Southeast, as a full conference member.
The BIG EAST Board of Directors, by a unanimous vote of its Presidents, extended the invitation to Tulane, which will begin competing in the BIG EAST in the 2014-15 academic year.
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"I am pleased and excited to welcome Tulane University to the BIG EAST Conference," said Aresco. "Tulane University is an outstanding academic institution and is committed to excellence in athletics. They will be a valued member of the BIG EAST."
Founded in 1834, Tulane is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, an association of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada. Located in New Orleans, Tulane has an enrollment of 13,359. The university is ranked by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a university with "very high research activity."
"Tulane University is pleased to accept membership in the BIG EAST Conference," said President Scott Cowen. "The BIG EAST is a distinguished collection of institutions that will be a wonderful home for Tulane. We look forward to our mutual association and we are delighted to welcome the BIG EAST to the Big Easy!"
Tulane sponsors 16 sports, 10 women's teams and six men's teams. The women's sports are basketball, tennis, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, cross country, golf, swimming and diving, bowling volleyball and sand volleyball. The men's sports are football, baseball, basketball, tennis, outdoor track and field and cross country.
Tulane's football team currently plays in the Mercedez-Benz Superdome. The school is building a new football venue, Yulman Stadium, which will have a capacity of 30,000. It is expected to be completed in 2014. Tulane's men's and women's basketball teams compete on campus at Devlin Fieldhouse. A majority of BIG EAST games will be played at New Orleans Arena.
The football team is coached by Curtis Johnson, who is in his first season. The men's basketball program is led by coach Ed Conroy who is in his third year. The Green Wave won 15 men's basketball games last season and are off to a 4-2 start this season.
Lisa Stockton is the head women's basketball coach. She is the winningest coach in Conference USA history with 372 victories. During her tenure, the Green Wave have enjoyed a nine-year streak of NCAA Tournament berths, four regular-season conference championships and five conference tournament titles.
The baseball program has earned five regular-season conference championships, eight conference tournament crowns and has played in the College World Series twice in the last 11 years. The men's tennis program has won eight national championships.
Over the last eight years, Green Wave student-athletes have been among the highest achievers nationally in the classroom, according to the most recent multi-year Academic Performance Rates (APR).
The BIG EAST has previously announced other new full members that will be begin playing in 2013. Those schools are: University of Central Florida, University of Houston, University of Memphis, and Southern Methodist University and Temple University. Boise State University and San Diego State University will compete only in football. The Naval Academy will start BIG EAST football play in 2015.