The Big 12 Conference Board of Directors have voted unanimously to accept West Virginia University as a full conference member effective July 1, 2012. The Mountaineers will begin competing in the Big 12 beginning with the 2012-13 athletic season.
West Virginia is the second new member to join the Conference since it began in 1996 after the addition of TCU earlier this month.
"The Big 12 Presidents and Chancellors are excited to welcome another outstanding institution to the Conference," said Burns Hargis, Chair of the Big 12 Board of Directors and President of Oklahoma State University. "The addition of West Virginia, while expanding the reach of the Big 12, brings an impressive institution with esteemed academics and a proud athletic tradition into the Conference. This is another step in building a strong foundation for the future of the Big 12."
"The Big 12 is a perfect fit for West Virginia University," said WVU President Dr. James P. Clements. "It is a strong conference that, like WVU, values quality academic and athletic programs, and has a great tradition of success. This is a very exciting time for WVU and Mountaineer nation. I am confident that the future of WVU athletics has never been more promising."
West Virginia University, located in Morgantown, sponsors 17 varsity sports. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, football, soccer, swimming & diving and wrestling. Women’s sports are basketball, cross country, gymnastics, rowing, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track & field and volleyball. The Mountaineers also boast a co-ed rifle squad. The Big 12 sponsors every sport the Mountaineers participate in except rifle and men’s soccer.
"We are excited to add West Virginia to our exceptional lineup of Conference members," said Big 12 Interim Commissioner Chuck Neinas. "They bring an excellent overall athletic program to the Big 12 and allow the league to expand into an area that boasts a passionate group of fans and alumni throughout its region."
Since its inception 15 years ago, the Big 12 has won 42 team national championships and 492 NCAA individual crowns. In addition, more than 3,700 student-athletes have earned All-America First Team accolades for their play on the field with more than 500 being recognized with Academic All-America honors.
Beginning with the 2012-13 season it is expected that the Big 12 Conference will be comprised of 10 Universities – Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech and West Virginia. The Big 12’s footprint will encompass five states with over 36 million people. More than 4,100 student-athletes from across the United States and around the World compete annually in the 23 sports sponsored by the Conference.
WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY FACT SHEET
|Location: Morgantown, West Virginia||Enrollment: 29,617 (22,711 Undergraduates)|
|Founded: 1867||Colors: Old Gold and Blue|
|Chancellor: Dr. James P. Clements||Nickname: Mountaineers|
|Director of Athletics: Oliver Luck||Website: MSNSportsNet.com|
♦ One of four programs in the nation to post nine or more wins in the past six seasons.
♦ WVU has been ranked in the top 25 of the final BCS Standings five of the last six seasons.
♦ Has reached a school-record nine consecutive bowl games.
♦ The Mountaineers boast the 12th-best record in the nation since 2005.
♦ West Virginia has 30 all-time bowl appearances, including each of the last nine seasons.
♦ The Mountaineers have competed in a New Year's Day or later bowl in six of the last eight campaigns.
♦ Recognized by the AFCA in 2009 and 2010 for having graduation rates of 75 percent or better.
♦ WVU has had three top seven Heisman finishers in three of the past five years.
♦ WVU has not finished lower than second place in its conference since 2002.
♦ Has recorded a 1,000-yard rusher in 13 of the last 15 seasons.
♦ Since 2002, WVU has had 22 All-America selections to 51 different All-America teams.
♦ A total of 177 Mountaineers have been drafted by the National Football League.
♦ Have had 28 Capital One Academic All-America honorees since 1952.
ADDITIONAL ATHLETIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS
♦ West Virginia teams have a combined academic progress rate score of 974 (NCAA average = 970). Six squads (cross country, rifle, men’s & women’s soccer, rowing, tennis) had perfect APR scores.
♦ Has finished in the top 50 of the Directors’ Cup rankings each of the past four years.
♦ The men’s basketball team has made six NCAA appearances in the last seven years (including all four under Bob Huggins) and also advanced to the 2010 Final Four.
♦ WVU men’s basketball has won 20 or more games for each of the last seven years.
♦ The women’s basketball squad has earned five NCAA bids in the past eight campaigns.
♦ WVU began last season with a 16-0 record in women’s basketball and posted the highest national-ranking (No. 6) in school history.
♦ Head baseball coach Greg Van Zant captured his 500th career victory a year ago.
♦ The rifle team has placed in the top three of the NCAA Rifle Championships each of the past three campaigns, with an individual NCAA Air Rifle Champion (Nicco Campriani) a year ago.
♦ The women’s soccer squad has made 11 consecutive NCAA appearances.
♦ WVU’s outdoor track & field program tied the school record by qualifying 12 student-athletes for NCAA Regionals in 2011.
♦ Five Mountaineer wrestlers earned berths to the NCAA Championships in 2011.
♦ Cross country has garnered three Top 10 NCAA finishes in the last four years.
♦ The Mountaineer gymnastics squad has amassed 28 NCAA regional berths.
♦ The rifle program has captured 14 national championships.
FORMER WVU STUDENTS
♦ Gen. Bantz J. Craddock - United States Army, Supreme Allied Commander Europe
♦ John Chambers - Chairman and CEO, Cisco Systems
♦ Charles Vest – President Emeritus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
♦ Stephen Coonts - New York Times bestselling author
♦ Kim Weaver – Research Astrophysicist, NASA Goodard Space Flight Center
♦ Rouzbeh Yassini - Inventor of the cable modem; Current President and CEO, YAS Capital Parnters
♦ Ray Lane – Former CEO of Oracle, Executive Chairman of Hewlett-Packard Board of Directors
♦ Greg Babe - President and Chief Executive Officer of Bayer Corporation
♦ Loretta Ucelli - Former Communications Director for President of the United States Bill Clinton; Currently Senior Advisor at Gutenberg Public Relations
♦ Jerry West - NBA 50th Anniversary Team, Model for current NBA logo
♦ Sam Huff - College and Pro Football Hall of Fame
♦ Darryl Talley - College Football Hall of Fame
♦ Bob Huggins - Head men’s basketball coach, West Virginia University
♦ 2,343 full-time and 667 part-time faculty members
♦ WVU ranks nationally for prestigious scholarships, including 24 Rhodes, 22 Truman and 33 Goldwater Scholars
♦ A total of 16 faculty members have been named Carnegie Foundation Professors of the Year
♦ 13 college and schools offer 191 bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degree programs
♦ Faculty conduct $177.7 million annually in sponsored contracts and research grants
♦ University expense budget is approximately $955 million
♦ Classified as a Research University (High Research Activity) by the Carnegie Foundation
♦ A land-grant institution - one of 106 in the United States
♦ One of the few schools in the country that are land-grant, doctoral research universities with comprehensive health sciences
♦ Approximately 70 percent of students receive some $350 million annually in financial aid
♦ Top 20 “Best Places to Work in Academia” by The Scientist (No. 2 public university on the list)
♦ The WVU Alumni Association is made up of more than 180,000 graduates worldwide