UTSA fields new turf with move to American Athletic Conference
The University of Texas at San Antonio is converting to a new home. UTSA is one of six schools joining the American Athletic Conference.
The conference announced October 21 that UTSA, the University of North Texas in Denton, Rice University in Houston, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte were approved for membership.
“This move will further elevate UTSA as a national brand and advance our goal of transforming lives as San Antonio’s nationally recognized NCAA Division I program. It is a great time to be a Roadrunner,” Lisa Campos, UTSA’s vice president for intercollegiate athletics, says in a news release.
The university had been a member of Conference USA since July 2013. Before that, it was part of the Western Athletic Conference (2012-13) after spending more than two decades in the Southland Conference (1991-2012).
The conference move comes amid the recent shake-up in the Big 12 Conference, which will lose the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma to the Southeastern Conference while gaining Brigham Young University, the University of Central Florida, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Houston as members by 2024.
At the AAC, the arrival of UTSA and the five other schools brings the American Athletic Conference’s membership to 15. The other members are Southern Methodist University in University Park, East Carolina University, the University of Memphis, the U.S. Naval Academy (football only), the University of South Florida, Temple University, Tulane University, the University of Tulsa, and Wichita State University (basketball and Olympic sports only).
The American, as the conference is known, will compete as a 14-team league in football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and several other sports.
“Joining The American is a bold opportunity for UTSA and builds on the powerful momentum of the university,” UTSA President Taylor Eighmy says.
UTSA offers 17 varsity sports, all of which will compete in The American. The Roadrunners play their home football games at the 64,000-seat Alamodome. UTSA’s first football team took the field in 2011.
UTSA is developing a 10,000-seat arena for basketball and volleyball; new stadiums for baseball and softball; and a standalone facility for soccer along with track and field.