Athletic Development
Rutgers University to Join Big Ten Conference

Park Ridge, Ill.— The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C) announced unanimous approval today for Rutgers University to join the Big Ten Conference, with competition to begin in all sports at a date to be determined. Rutgers University also looks forward to joining the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), a consortium of world-class research institutions dedicated to advancing their academic missions.

“The Big Ten includes America’s most highly regarded academic institutions, known for both their athletic success and academic achievement,” said Rutgers President Robert Barchi. “This is exactly the right conference for Rutgers. Our university is one of the nation’s leading research universities and our student-athletes excel in the classroom and on the playing field.”

"On behalf of the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors, I am pleased to welcome Rutgers University to the Big Ten Conference,” said COP/C Chair and University of Iowa President Sally Mason. “When considering the full spectrum of academic, athletic and research prowess, Rutgers clearly makes for a perfect fit as one of the premier public land-grant institutions on the East Coast. We are excited to welcome them within our ranks, and look forward to collaboration and competition with yet another great Big Ten university."

“This is a historic day for Rutgers University,” said Rutgers Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Tim Pernetti. “It is an honor to join such a prestigious conference and begin our partnership with the outstanding institutions in the Big Ten. There is no finer conference in the nation that combines top-notch academics and athletics.”

In order for an institution to be admitted to the Big Ten Conference, it must submit a written application, which must then be approved by at least 70 percent of the Big Ten COP/C. Rutgers University formally submitted an application to join the Big Ten Conference on Tuesday. The Big Ten COP/C then met via conference call and unanimously approved Rutgers’ application.

“The Big Ten Conference is pleased to announce that Rutgers University will soon join the conference family,” said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. “The additions of Rutgers and the University of Maryland further expand the Big Ten’s footprint while helping solidify our presence on the East Coast. Both institutions feature a combination of academic and athletic excellence and will prove a great fit for our future.”

About Rutgers University: Established in 1766, Rutgers is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and one of the nation’s premier public research universities. Serving nearly 60,000 students on campuses in Camden, Newark and New Brunswick, Rutgers is one of only two New Jersey institutions represented in the prestigious Association of American Universities. Rutgers is the sole university in the United States that is a colonial college, a land-grant institution, and a public university. The university draws on a storied legacy of innovation and strong ties to a complex and diverse state to serve the public through education, research, and community engagement.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in student-athletes’ lives and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based athletic programs of the 12 Big Ten institutions sponsor 298 teams competing for championships in 25 official conference sports, 12 for men and 13 for women. Big Ten universities provide in excess of $136 million in athletic scholarship aid to nearly 10,000 men and women student-athletes, the most of any conference. For more information, visit



- Chartered in 1766 (Rutgers is the eighth oldest college in the nation)
- Admitted into the Association of American Universities (AAU) in 1989
- A land-grant university and member of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU)
- Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
- Ranked No. 68 in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent evaluation of America’s Best Universities


- Recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a “Research/Very High Research Activity” University (Tier 1)
- Received almost $400 million in total research funding during the 2012 fiscal year
- Thirty-three faculty are members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine, America’s top experts on critical national issues.


- Fall 2012 undergraduate enrollment is 43,967
- Fall 2012 graduate enrollment is 14,821

- 13 percent of students are out-of-state
- Students come from 49 of the 50 U.S. states
- Students come from 106 countries


- Middle Three Conference (1946-1951)

- With Lafayette and Lehigh

- Middle Atlantic Conference (1958-1961)
- Atlantic-10 Conference (1976-1995)

- All sports except football

- Big East (1991-1995)

- Football-only member

- Big East (1995-present)

All sports


- 24 varsity teams (10 men’s teams; 14 women’s teams)
- 16 different sports (football, basketball, baseball, softball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, tennis, track & field, wrestling, volleyball, soccer, field hockey, swimming & diving, rowing, lacrosse)
- Five national championships in four sports

- Football (1): 1869

- Men’s Lacrosse (2): 1928, 1955

- Men’s Fencing (1): 1949

- Women’s Basketball (1): 1982


- Three Middle Atlantic Conference titles
- Shared the first ever football national title with Princeton in 1869
- Seven bowl appearances

- Most recent – 27-13 win over Iowa State in 2011 Pinstripe Bowl


- Two Atlantic-10 Tournament titles (1979, 1989)
- Six NCAA Championship appearances

- Most recent – 1991

- One Final Four (1976)
- Most recent postseason appearance – 2006 NIT


- Eight Atlantic-10 and Big East titles
- Five Atlantic-10 and Big East tournament titles
- 23 NCAA Championship appearances

- Most recent – 2012

- Two Final Fours (2000 and 2007)

- Including 2007 NCAA Championship Game


- Ray Rice, Football

- Two-time All-Pro in the NFL

- Alexi Lalas, Men’s Soccer

- Hermann Trophy winner

- Member of U.S. National Team ( 1991-1998)

- George Kojac, Swimming

- International Swimming Hall of Fame

- 1928 Olympic gold medalist

- Carli Lloyd, Women’s Soccer

- Scored gold medal winning goal in 2008 and 2012 Olympics

- Jim Valvano, Men’s Basketball

- Played at Rutgers from 1964-1967

- Coached at NC State and won 1983 NCAA title

- Namesake for the V Foundation for Cancer Research

- Paul Robeson, Football

- Played at Rutgers from 1915-1919 and won 12 letters in four different sports

- Member of the College Football Hall of Fame

- After RU, became an accomplished actor, singer and lecturer

- Cappie Pondexter, Women’s Basketball

- Raised and attended high school in Chicago

- First four-time first-team All-Big East selection in conference history

- Won 2007 WNBA title and named WNBA Finals MVP

2008 Olympic gold medalist


- Harvey Harman, Football (1938-1941, 1946-1955)

- Compiled a 74-44-2 record

- Served in the Navy during WWII

- Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1981

- C. Vivian Stringer, Women’s Basketball (1995-present)

- Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame

- Advanced Rutgers to the Final Four in 2000 and 2007

- Theresa Grentz, Women’s Basketball (1976-1995)

- Won the AIAW Championship in 1982

- Compiled a 434-150 record and led the team to nine straight postseason appearances

- After Rutgers, coached at Illinois for 12 seasons


- Eight Rhodes Scholar
- Four Nobel Laureates
- Seven Pulitzer Prize winners
- Other:

- Milton Friedman – Nobel Prize winning economist

- David Stern – NBA commissioner

- Bill Rasmussen – founder, ESPN

- Janet Evanovich – best-selling novelist

- James Gandolfini – Emmy Award winning actor


- Bruce Springsteen – Grammy Award winning musician
- Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito – Associate Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court
- Franco Harris – Hall of Fame running back and Penn State alum
- Shaquille O’Neal – 15-time NBA All-Star
- General Norman Schwarzkopf – led U.S. armed forces in Desert Storm
- Frank Sinatra – noted musician and actor
- Amos Alonzo Stagg – pioneer coach and namesake for Big Ten Football Championship Trophy
- Meryl Streep – Academy Award winning actress
- Bon Jovi - rock band from Sayreville, N.J.
- Thomas Edison – inventor who created the phonograph, motion picture camera and light bulb
- Vince Lombardi – legendary football coach


- Lou Tepper

- Former Illinois football coach

- 1967 graduate of Rutgers

- Dick Anderson

- Former Rutgers football head coach (1984-1989)

- Former assistant at Penn State

- Greg Schiano

- Former Rutgers football head coach

- Former assistant at Penn State

- C. Vivian Stringer

- Rutgers women’s basketball coach

- Head coach at Iowa from 1983-1985

- Theresa Grentz

- Former Illinois women’s basketball coach

- Head coach at Rutgers from 1976-1995

- Doug Graber

- Former Rutgers football head coach

- Former assistant at Wisconsin

- Frank Molinaro

- Four-time Penn State All-American

- Current Rutgers assistant wrestling coach

- Bill Carmody

- Northwestern men’s basketball coach

- Born in Spring Lake, N.J.


Rutgers Head Coaches Comment on Joining Big Ten Conference

Maura Ballard, Head Women’s Golf Coach: “It’s an exciting time for all of us. We are looking forward to being part of such an elite athletic and academic conference. Rutgers is a tremendous fit for the Big Ten.”

Max Borghard, Head Rowing Coach: “This is an exciting time here at Rutgers as this is a landmark day for the University moving into the Big Ten which will boost the school academically and athletically.”

Laura Brand-Sias, Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach: “I am extremely excited about our membership in the Big Ten Conference. The Big Ten is the nation’s most prestigious academic and athletic conference in the country and its stability is second to none. The caliber of women’s lacrosse teams in the conference is enormously impressive, and I can only hope that our membership allows the Big Ten to sponsor a women’s lacrosse championship. With the support of our administration and the financial and television opportunities the Big Ten will offer, we are excited to compete in what will be the best women’s lacrosse conference in the country.”

Brian Brecht, Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach: “This is an exciting day for Rutgers Lacrosse, our alumni, our current student-athletes and fans. I’m proud that the work put into building our program and taking Rutgers to eight NCAA tournaments will now have the backing of the most prestigious conference in the country. Rutgers University is regarded as one of the top academic schools in the nation, and we will be surrounded by institutions that academically match all the values of our school. This is a great combination for the best student-athletes that we are attracting in the recruiting process. Our students will now have the opportunity to earn a Rutgers degree from a prestigious University, as well as having a great experience while being student-athletes in the prestigious Big Ten Conference. The exposure, locally and nationally, with the Big Ten Network will be invaluable to both our recruiting efforts, as well as providing more to our loyal and proud alumni and fans.”

Ben Bucca, Head Tennis Coach: “Rutgers joining the Big Ten is huge. It enables us to recruit the best high school tennis players in the country with the promise that they will compete against the best college players in the country - only minutes away from New York City, one of the greatest financial and cultural centers in the world. No other school can match that promise. Go RU!”

Glenn Crooks, Head Women’s Soccer Coach: “We are thrilled to be joining perhaps the best conference in the country. In women’s soccer, the Big Ten was rated the third-best conference in the nation, so we are taking an important step forward in our level of competition. Our move to the Big Ten will have a positive impact in our recruiting. We will gain enormous exposure on the Big Ten Network, which reaches markets that are not familiar with Rutgers soccer – and we are certain they will like what they see. Consequently, our recruiting base has broadened, especially in Region 2 (Midwest), a talent-rich area of the country. Academically, perhaps our only conference peer is the Ivy League. We take great pride in our academic achievements and our perfect APR score. The combination of outstanding academics and high-level soccer at the Big Ten institutions make this a perfect fit for not only our program but all the programs at Rutgers.”

Dan Donigan, Head Men’s Soccer Coach: “This move to the Big Ten adds great stability to our department, our university, and certainly the men’s soccer program. There are seven Big Ten schools that are within the top-70 in RPI. We are going from one good conference to another great conference. From a competitive standpoint, it is fantastic move for us. It helps recruiting efforts and perceptions from the academic side of things because universities in the Big Ten are considered among the elite academic institutions. Having coached in the Midwest for 13 years at Saint Louis University, I have a familiarity with those kinds of institutions and those programs. I am excited for my student-athletes and the future prospective student-athletes that are going to be a part of our great program in the Big Ten.”

Scott Goodale, Head Wrestling Coach: “It is a great opportunity for Rutgers University and the athletic department to join such the prestigious, tradition-rich Big Ten Conference. It will give us great stability and secure our place in arguably the best conference in terms of academics and athletics. From a wrestling standpoint, the thought of wrestling and recruiting with the use of the Big Ten Network and the type of exposure that conference receives is a very exciting prospect. It will certainly be a challenge for our wrestling program, but we have always recruited and prepared to be the best in the country and that’s exactly what the Big Ten is.”

Lou Levine, Head Gymnastics Coach: “This is a great opportunity for us as an athletic department. Academically, the Big Ten is one of the top conferences in the country. It gives us more resources to move forward and continue to progress. For gymnastics, it’s an excellent chance for us to gain more exposure as a sport and it helps grow our reach as a program. We will get to compete with some of the best competition in the country.”

Meredith Long, Head Field Hockey Coach: “Joining the Big Ten is going to be both a great challenge and a great opportunity for RU Field Hockey. The level of play of all the Big Ten teams is exceptional, and will help us raise our own standard even higher. It is a very exciting day for Rutgers Athletics.”

Jay Nelson, Head Softball Coach: “This is a historic move for us and I really trust that Tim (Pernetti) has gotten us into a good situation. Academically, it fits our school and it is going to greatly benefit the recruiting process. Competitively, it is going to take us to the next level.”

Mike Rice, Head Men's Basketball Coach: “Not only is this a significant day for our program, but for Rutgers University and the great State of New Jersey. Membership in the Big Ten Conference ensures that Rutgers men’s basketball has the resources to build our program to an elite level. The future is secure and very, very bright.”

Rob Shutte, Head Men's Golf Coach: “It is a great day for Rutgers Athletics, as well as Rutgers golf. We are leaving a great golf conference and joining another in the Big Ten that has a rich history of programs that compete on the highest level. The future of Rutgers men's golf was already bright, but this announcement only further solidifies our program as a place talented student athletes want to come.”

Phil Spiniello, Head Swimming Coach: “It is an exciting time to be part of Rutgers Athletics. This move to the Big Ten is going to provide us with the stability and financial resource we need to recruit and compete in one of the premiere swimming and diving conferences in the country.”

C. Vivian Stringer, Head Women’s Basketball Coach: “I’ve got the most wonderful, great things to say about the Big Ten Conference. Top to bottom, it’s so well balanced. The academic and athletic brand is second-to-none. They have the most loyal fans. Their facilities are incredible. It’s truly a conference that shares.

“Rutgers will do extremely well. There is nothing the Big Ten cannot do. You can talk about the collaborations between the scientists and the research personnel within Big Ten universities and with Rutgers and the academic profile our professors already have, the size of our school, academic requirements… this is perfect.

“Now I have an opportunity to not only go back home, our fans have an opportunity to support us as they always have, and then also as we play in these large arenas, our fans have opportunity to go there and (Big Ten) fans have an opportunity to come here and expand the brand of the Big Ten. We will miss our friends and the competition that was within the BIG EAST, but we are happy with where we are going. We are really happy and excited.

“Rutgers is that university that thinks much like the Big Ten. It’s a perfect union for everyone. It’s a win, win, win, win for everyone – for men’s and women’s basketball, football, our fans, and the type of television exposure we are going to get. It’s that brand that is all over the world. The Big Ten has big ideas and big vision. I’m happy to have a chance to be a part of it.”

CJ Werneke, Head Volleyball Coach: “I am very excited about becoming the newest member of the Big Ten Conference. Our program will be joining the best academic and athletic conference in the country. This move to the Big Ten will allow us the resources to compete at the highest level while giving us access to national exposure.”