|September 10, 2021
Dear Houston Cougar Family:
Today is a monumental day in the trajectory of the University of Houston as we formally accepted an invitation to join the Big 12 Conference. While on the surface this decision impacts our athletics program, it truly is a transformational change for our institution. Our mission is about “connecting potential with opportunity” and today’s announcement is about just that.
There have been millions of moments which have led us to today’s exciting announcement: moments of championships, moments of generosity, moments of alignment, moments of passion, and moments of excellence. Every student-athlete, coach, staff, faculty member, donor, fan, Board member and Athletics and University leader has contributed in some way to our ascendency. Our commitment to Houston Cougar Athletics has been unwavering, and it was our collective desire to be more, to do more, and to pursue excellence that made today possible.
We are joining a conference that now spans from the mountains of Utah to the hills of West Virginia and includes world-class institutions and athletics programs steeped in tradition. We will create new rivalries and renew some old ones and compete throughout the year against three other State of Texas peers. Of course, we also believe that moving to the Big 12 Conference will benefit the University financially, will help us recruit even more elite student-athletes, will create a broader national platform for the institution and will allow our student-athletes to compete against the very best, day after day.
Joining the Big 12 Conference is another important step in our institutional journey, which, in recent years, has included designation as a Tier One research institution by the Carnegie Foundation, membership to Phi Beta Kappa and establishing Houston’s first new medical school in nearly half a century. Our future is boundless; our pursuit is never-ending.
So, please join us, the City of Houston and all those who love our university, in celebrating today’s announcement and in taking a moment to recognize what we can accomplish together is limitless!
Renu Khator Chris Pezman (’92, M.H.M. ’95)
President Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics
UH/Big-12 PRESS CONFERENCE|