UConn Readmitted to Big East After Seven Years
UConn has been readmitted to the Big East, since leaving the conference seven years ago. For 34 years, the school was part of the conference before leaving in 2013. The news was announced in the summer of 2019, but nothing was permanent until July 1.
Susan Herbst, who is the UConn president, said, "The Big East is an incredibly special and enduring part of our heritage. We were a founding member 40 years ago. Our programs grew and thrived in this conference over decades. The intensity of the competition, the passion of our rivalries and all our most triumphant wins and toughest losses helped to make us who we are."
UConn is one of the founding members of the Big East, but dropped out the conference in 2013 because the league's basketball schools wanted to create the Big East. The Huskies and other Big East teams such as South Florida and Temple merged into the American Athletic Conference. Older schools of the Big East include St. John's, Seton Hall, and Georgetown.
When UConn was in the Big East, their men's and women's basketball program turned out to be successful. The men's team won three national title games and the women's team won eight of its 11 national title games, while having Geno Auriemma as the head coach.
Aurienna said "This pandemic has exposed a lot of flaws in the system. When I got the job at UConn [in 1985], we took a bus almost everywhere. Maybe we'd have a flight to Pittsburgh, or a flight to Georgetown, and maybe one other trip a year someplace."
Auriemma said, "It's just going to bring back a lot of great memories, you know, like driving over to Providence."