Butler University will join the Big East conference in July 2013, President James M. Danko announced today.

Big East university presidents and Fox Sports officials

As a Big East member, Butler will join Creighton University, DePaul University, Georgetown University, Marquette University, Providence College, Seton Hall University, St. John’s University, Villanova University, and Xavier University.

“Joining the Big East is an unprecedented opportunity for Butler and represents an ideal fit for us—academically, athletically, and geographically,” said President Danko.

Joining the Big East will further enhance Butler’s national visibility, which soared following the men’s basketball team’s back-to-back Final Four runs in 2010 and 2011. “Butler’s increased national prominence will create new opportunities not only for student-athletes,” stated Danko, “but for our entire student body and for our alumni, while increasing the value of a Butler degree.”

The Butler Bulldogs’ football team will remain in the Pioneer League, while other sports will begin their Big East competition in the fall. 

“This new opportunity to compete against Big East universities—which have a rich tradition of excellence across a wide range of sports—will enhance the Butler experience for all our student-athletes,” said Vice President and Director of Athletics Barry Collier.

The conference change comes a year after Butler’s move from the Horizon League to Atlantic 10 Conference. “The A-10, like the Horizon League, is an outstanding conference, and we were honored to be a member,” Danko added. “After in-depth deliberations and analyses, we determined that joining the Big East was the right thing to do for our students and our institution, regardless of the timing of past conference transitions.”

From 1946 to 1950, Butler was in the Mid-American Conference. The Bulldogs played in the Indiana Collegiate Conference from 1950 to 1978 and were independent in 1978–1979. In 1979, Butler became a charter member of the Midwestern City Conference (later renamed Midwestern Collegiate Conference and then Horizon League). Butler joined the Atlantic 10 in 2012.

The Bulldogs have made appearances in NCAA National Championship Tournaments in men’s and women’s basketball, men’s soccer, volleyball, men’s cross country, lacrosse, and baseball, and over the past decade, Butler teams have captured 29 conference championships.


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