UAB to officially join American Athletic Conference in 2023
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The UAB Department of Athletics will officially join the American Athletic Conference on July 1, 2023, according to announcement by University of Alabama at Birmingham President Ray L. Watts and Director of Athletics Mark Ingram.
UAB is one of six schools transitioning to the AAC, along with Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice and UTSA. The AAC will become a 14-team league as these six schools join East Carolina, Memphis, SMU, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa, USF and Wichita State (Navy participates as a football-only member, Wichita State participates as a full member aside from football).
When UAB announced its intention to join the AAC on Oct. 21, 2021, UAB President Ray L. Watts said the move was a strategic investment in the institution’s commitment to excellence.
“We’re looking forward to competing for championships in the AAC, and it is an exciting milestone to now know when that will begin,” Watts said. “I want to thank and congratulate everyone who helped make this a reality, including the AAC leadership and member institutions, Director of Athletics Mark Ingram and his talented UAB Athletics team, the UAB Athletics Foundation, the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees, UA System Chancellor Finis St. John and the UA System Office, as well as other key leaders and supporters inside and outside of UAB.”
Along with renovations to over 25 athletics facilities in the last seven years, the Blazers have won two Conference USA football championships (2018 & 2020), one Conference USA men’s basketball championship (2022), one Conference USA women’s basketball regular season championship (2017-18) and opened Protective Stadium in the heart of downtown Birmingham on Oct. 2, 2021.
“We have made the most of every opportunity in recent years to propel UAB Athletics to new heights, and joining the AAC is an incredible opportunity to build on all we have accomplished in a big way,” said Director of Athletics Mark Ingram. “We’ve worked hard to make great progress that put us in this position, and we don’t intend to slow down. This is another great day for UAB Athletics and Blazer Nation, and it is still just the beginning.”
UAB is venturing to the AAC as full participants in every sport, aside from beach volleyball, bowling and rifle. UAB men’s soccer will compete in the AAC beginning this Fall due to Conference USA losing Marshall, Old Dominion, South Carolina, Kentucky and Coastal Carolina from its soccer league.
The Blazers will remain in Conference USA for the 2022-23 academic year.
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