STORRS, Conn. -
The American Athletic Conference announced on Friday the addition of Wichita State to the American Athletic Conference in men's and women's basketball and Olympic sports beginning on July 1, 2017. The American's Board of Directors unanimously voted to accept Wichita State as its newest member.
"I want to welcome Wichita State to the American Athletic Conference on behalf of the entire UConn Division of Athletics," said UConn Director of Athletics David Benedict. "Wichita State is a great addition to the league across the board. Wichita State is a national-caliber men's basketball program and makes the American stronger immediately. They will improve the strength of schedule for all league members and will be a very popular opponent for fans of all American teams, including UConn."
"On behalf of all the presidents of the American Athletic Conference, I am very happy to welcome Wichita State to our league," said UConn President Susan Herbst, who also serves as Chair of The American Board of Directors. "Wichita State brings a strong academic and athletic tradition to The American, and their fans and alumni are passionate about the school and their teams. The addition of Wichita State to The American will further enhance the league and its national reputation."
"We are very pleased to welcome Wichita State to the American Conference," said UConn men's basketball coach Kevin Ollie. "From the viewpoint of men's basketball, the tremendous success of Coach (Gregg) Marshall's program is well-known nationally. It gives our league another elite team of national championship caliber and raises the profile of the American Conference to another level. We are looking forward to the great competition against Wichita State, beginning next season."
Wichita State's men's basketball program has a storied history, winning more than 1,500 contests in its 111-year history. Under Marshall, the Shockers have won more than 260 games for a nearly .750 winning percentage.
One of five schools to win an NCAA Tournament game in each of the last five years, Wichita State has registered 10 NCAA Tournament wins since 2013, tied for fifth-most in college basketball. Over the last four seasons, the Shockers are 59-1 in home games at Charles Koch Arena (10,506 capacity), the second most wins and second-best winning percentage in the country.
Wichita State's women's basketball team won three consecutive conference regular season and tournament titles from 2013-15.
The Shocker volleyball team won the MVC Tournament title for the fourth time in school history in 2016 and has earned a berth in the NCAA Championship nine of the last 10 seasons, including an appearance in the round of 16 in 2012.
"Wichita State brings a tradition of successful programs not only in basketball, but in many of their other sports, which definitely adds to the brand of the American Athletic Conference," said UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma.
On the baseball diamond, Wichita State has won more than 2,100 games and captured the 1989 College World Series crown. The team plays in 8,153-seat Eck Stadium and boasts 37 Major League Baseball players all-time.