Friday, June 30, 2023
All sports begin competition this Fall
DENTON, Texas – UNT has officially joined the American Athletic Conference on July 1 and will compete in all sports in the league beginning this fall entering a new era of increased visibility and higher competition.
"I'm proud to see UNT join the American Athletic Conference, and I'm excited to see our athletics programs – and our entire university – elevated into a more prestigious conference like The American," UNT President Neal Smatresk said. "As UNT has grown and made numerous advances in our academic programs and research enterprise in recent years, we've emerged as the most comprehensive university in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and the fastest-growing in Texas. Joining The American is another example of UNT's commitment to excellence and is an exciting new beginning for us."
The Mean Green won seven conference championships over the last three years and took home the 2023 National Invitation Tournament in men's basketball. UNT also had three student-athletes reach the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the first time since 1983. In January, UNT Football played in its sixth bowl game in seven years.
"It has been an exciting year for UNT Athletics, and that excitement continues as we transition to the American Athletic Conference," Vice President and Director of Athletics Jared Mosley said. "All of Mean Green Nation is looking forward to the new challenges, opportunities and successes that lie ahead in this new era of athletics at UNT."
The Mean Green were previously accepted as a member in The American on October 21, 2021 and announced plans to officially join on June 15, 2022.
UNT, established in 1890, has more than 44,000 students and is a Carnegie-ranked Tier One public research university. Athletically, the Mean Green have won 140 conference championships all-time across 16 different sports.
As of today, The American consists of 15 prestigious institutions: the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of North Carolina Charlotte, East Carolina University, Florida Atlantic University, the University of Memphis, the United States Naval Academy (in football only), the University of North Texas, Rice University, the University of South Florida, Southern Methodist University, Temple University, the University of Texas at San Antonio, Tulane University, the University of Tulsa, and Wichita State University (in basketball and Olympic sports).
In the 2023-24 season, The American will be the only Division I conference to have a New Year's Six bowl winner (Tulane) and an NCAA Men's Final Four participant (Florida Atlantic) in its ranks. In football, The American will be one of four FBS conferences (along with the Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC) to have at least two 11-win teams from last year (Tulane, UTSA).
The six incoming schools combined to win 14 championships in their previous conference last year, while the nine incumbent members from the American won 13 conference titles in the 2022-23 season.
The reconfiguration of The American further concentrates the league in major metropolitan areas and recruiting strongholds. The league has four teams in the state of Texas, two each in Florida and North Carolina and one each in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Kansas. That results in a presence in four of the top 10, six of the top 25 and 12 of the top 52 Nielsen media markets.
It also allows for The American to enjoy a lucrative and comprehensive media rights partnership with ESPN, giving the conference a significant presence on the Worldwide Leader's primary television networks (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU) and an all-sports presence on ESPN+, the industry's leading streaming service with more than 25.3 million subscribers.
UNT competed as a member of Conference USA from 2013-23. North Texas was a member of the Sun Belt Conference from 2001-13.
From UNT Mean Green Sports News