When was the BIG EAST founded and who were the first affiliated Universities?
The BIG EAST was founded on May 31, 1979. Original Members:
- Providence College
- St. Johns
- Seton Hall
- Boston College
Number of Champions
Since 1979, the league has won 31 National Championships in six different sports and 133 student-athletes have won individual national titles.
BIG EAST Geographic School Map
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Headquarters and Commissioners
The BIG EAST is headquartered in Providence, RI
|2012–2012||Joseph Bailey (Interim)|
Brief History of Mike Aresco
Mike Aresco, Executive Vice President, Programming of CBS Sports, has been named Commissioner of The BIG EAST Conference. The appointment was made by a unanimous vote of the league’s Presidents.
Mike Aresco will assume Commissioner’s duties in early September.
Prior to becoming the Commissioner, Mike was the Executive Vice President of CBS Sports, Aresco has been responsible for all college programming for the Network. In addition, he has been involved with the strategic development of CBS Sports Network programming. He joined CBS Sports as Vice President, Programming, in 1996 and was promoted to Senior Vice President in 2000 and named Executive Vice President, Programming in 2008. He is responsible for managing the division’s college sports properties, including contract negotiations and future acquisitions for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, regular-season college basketball and football bowl games. He also has been responsible for administering the network’s various NCAA properties.
Aresco was instrumental in negotiating the CBS Television Network’s current landmark agreement with the NCAA granting CBS Sports and Turner Sports exclusive rights to the NCAA Men’s Basketball through 2024 and the Network’s historic 15-year deal with the SEC.
Before CBS Sports, Aresco worked at ESPN where he was responsible for overseeing the acquisition, scheduling and development of long-term strategies for all of ESPN and ESPN2 college sports properties. He joined ESPN in 1984 and was named Assistant General Counsel in 1988 before moving to the ESPN programming department.
Aresco is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Tufts University (B.A., magna cum laude, history); the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (M.A., international relations), where he held a John Moors Cabot Fellowship, and the University of Connecticut Law School (J.D.).
A native of Middletown, Conn., Aresco lives in Southport, Conn., with his wife Sharon. They have two sons, Matthew, who operates his own television production company and Brett, an aspiring actor in New York City.
The BIG EAST has gone through membership changes since its birth, but it is the nation’s largest Division I-A conference.
BIG EAST Membership History
BIG EAST institutions reside in nine of the nation’s top 35 largest media markets, including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Tampa, Pittsburgh, Hartford, Cincinnati and Milwaukee. With its newest members, BIG EAST markets contain almost one-fourth of all television households in the U.S. The conference will have a footprint in 30 percent of the nation’s television households.
Proactive movement has been a signature strategy for the conference. The BIG EAST continually turns challenges into opportunities to become stronger. The conference currently crowns champions in 24 sports.
The Big East Conference Timeline
1979: The Big East Conference was originally a league designed as a basketball conglomerate. The northeast was, and still is, a hoops hotbed for talent, fans and NCAA championships. The league started with Boston College, UConn, Georgetown, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Syracuse as its members. Rutgers and Holy Cross were also invited to join but declined.
1980: Villanova accepted an invitation one year later.
1982: Pittsburgh was asked to join the Big East in its third year of existence. That same year, Penn State requested entrance to the league, but the league members voted against accepting the Nittany Lions.
1991: The Big East decides to embrace football and adds major football programs Miami, Rutgers, West Virginia, Virginia Tech and Temple to the group and takes part in its first Big East football season.
1995: Notre Dame’s Olymipic sports join the Big East. Irish football remains Independent.
2001: The Miami Hurricanes win the Big East’s first and only BCS-era National Championship with what many believe to be the best college team ever assembled. Miami would go on to lose in the BCS title game the following year.
2004: Miami and Virginia Tech join the ACC. Temple is kicked out of the league.
2005: Boston College follows the Hurricanes and the Hokies to the ACC. To combat the major losses, Mike Tranghese counters by adding Cincinnati, Louisville, South Florida in all sports and DePaul and Marquette in all sports expect football.
2012: West Virginia, and what would have been TCU, both decide through a very public and ugly divorce to join the Big 12. The Big East fill it’s schedule by re-inviting the Owls of Temple — who instantly accept the invitation for football only. TCU had previously accepted an invitation to join the Big East from the Mountain West but changed its mind when the Big 12 extended its own invitation to the Horned Frogs. TCU never played a game of any kind as a Big East institution.
2013: Houston, SMU, UCF, Memphis, Boise State and San Diego State are scheduled to join the league. Ptt and Syracuse will offically join the ACC.
2015: Navy will become a football only member of the Big East.
Image Key: Full Members, Full Members (Non Football), Assoc. Members (Football Only), Assoc. Members (List Sports), Other Conference, Other Conference