BIG 12 MEMBERS: UCF Knights Officially Join Big 12 Conference on Saturday
By Space Coast Daily // July 1, 2023
UCF enters the Big 12 as the youngest university in the Power 5
ORLANDO, FLORIDA (UCF Knights) – The University of Central Florida officially joins the Big 12 Conference today in a landmark move that will enhance the university’s national profile and provide opportunities for UCF student-athletes to compete at the highest level.
“The Big 12 is thrilled to officially welcome UCF to the conference,” said Big 12 Conference Commissioner Brett Yormark. “UCF has experienced unprecedented growth and success since becoming a Division I program in 1996. With its addition, the Big 12 adds a university with one of the largest enrollments in the county–in one of America’s top destination cities that ranks as the seventeenth largest media market–and expands the conference footprint to one of the top states in the country for DI prospects.
Known as America’s Space University, UCF’s growing reputation for innovation and impact is fueled by individuals reaching for the stars.
The excellence of its people can be seen in UCF’s incredible outcomes, including 18,000 degrees awarded annually; ranking among the top 25 colleges and universities in the country for enrolled National Merit Scholars; and achieving $220 million in research expenditures.
“UCF’s move into the Big 12 demonstrates that the future of collegiate athletics is right here in Orlando,” said UCF Board of Trustees Chair Alex Martins. “The trajectory of UCF’s athletics programs is only possible because of the support from our passionate community of Knights, which has led us to this historic moment when UCF enters the Big 12 as the youngest university in the Power 5.”
UCF is a University for the Future — a public metropolitan research university that leverages its location and strategic partnerships to inspire the innovation, creativity and discovery that help its students, state and society advance in positive ways.
“Our reputation for excellence across our institution–athletics, the arts, engineering, hospitality, sciences, and more–continues to grow as we build the University for the Future,” said UCF President Alexander N. Cartwright. “There is no doubt that UCF is on the rise, and we are headed for greatness–as the future of college sports and as one of the best public research universities in the country.”
In 2022-23 UCF teams in women’s soccer, volleyball, softball, women’s tennis and women’s golf competed in NCAA Championships—and qualified individuals into NCAA play in women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, men’s golf and men’s and women’s tennis.
UCF football has played in bowl games each of the last seven years and has competed in three New Year’s Six bowl games during the past nine seasons.
The UCF men’s basketball team played in the second round of the 2023 National Invitation Tournament.
Knight teams won American Athletic Conference titles in 2022-23 in women’s soccer, volleyball, indoor and outdoor women’s track and field and softball. UCF had eight teams–men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, football, softball, women’s tennis, women’s golf, women’s outdoor track and field–rank in their respective top 25s at some point in 2022-23.