On the eve of Wichita State University’s first official day as a member of the American Athletic Conference, I am extremely pleased, on behalf of the American’s member institutions, to welcome Wichita State as a new American Athletic Conference member. We warmly welcome president John Bardo and athletic director Darron Boatright, as well as their staff, coaches and, most important, their student-athletes. We have already gotten to know and work with Dr. Bardo and Darron, and we are privileged to have them with us. We also welcome the University’s students, alumni, supporters, and fans, especially all those in the greater Wichita metropolitan community who support the University’s athletic teams. The Wichita State fan base is among the most dedicated in the country.
Wichita State University brings distinguished athletic programs in men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and other Olympic sports, as well as academic quality, to our Conference. As a member, Wichita State will enjoy unprecedented television and media coverage, which will serve to enhance its already strong identity and brand. Wichita State is joining a group of schools in the American which distinguish themselves academically and in service to their communities, and which regularly challenge for championships, enjoy national recognition, and are widely viewed as comprising a Power 6 conference.
On behalf of the American Athletic Conference, I take great pride in extending a warm welcome to Wichita State, and I wish them well in the intense and rewarding competition that lies ahead.