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UT News

UT Adds Longhorn Excellence to the Southeastern Conference

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The University of Texas at Austin has entered a new era of athletic competition today by officially joining the Southeastern Conference. More than a dozen universities have transitioned to new conferences in this year’s realignment, with UT and the University of Oklahoma becoming the 15th and 16th members of the SEC.

UT’s membership in the SEC places the Longhorns in the highest echelon of collegiate competition, and the University’s presence in the SEC adds even more world-class academics – joining four other Association of American Universities institutions – and all-around athletic success to the conference.

“Our outstanding student athletes and coaches have earned the right to compete on the biggest stage in college sports, the SEC. But this transition is about more than just sports,” said President Jay Hartzell. “Our University provides elite academic programs on a vibrant campus in the heart of a dynamic city, and this move will introduce new audiences to our unique story and the impact that UT is having on the world. The excitement of SEC athletics will enhance the student experience and attract more top talent — students, faculty, and staff — to the Forty Acres. I am grateful to Chairman Kevin Eltife and Commissioner Greg Sankey for making this happen, and to our Athletic Director, Chris Del Conte, for his vision of the future for Texas Athletics.”

In addition to bringing the Longhorns’ 140-year winning tradition to the SEC, UT will also contribute standout achievements like the conference’s greatest number of Olympic medals (156) and National Championships (66), the most Nobel Prize laureates and startup founders, and the conference’s only LEARFIELD Directors’ Cups — the award recognizing the country’s best all-around athletics program. UT snapped Stanford University’s 25-year streak with its first trophy in 2020-21 and has won three of the last four Directors’ Cups.

UT joins the SEC after 28 seasons in the Big 12 Conference, of which it was a charter member. The Longhorns’ final year in the Big 12 was one for the history books, with NCAA Championships in volleyball and rowing and runner-up finishes for women’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis and softball, as well as a semifinals playoff appearance for football and an Elite Eight run for women’s basketball. Across all sports, UT achieved eight top-five team finishes, a dozen top-10s and a Big 12-record 15 Championships in 2023-24.

“What an historic and exciting time it is in Texas Athletics,” said UT Vice President and Lois and Richard Folger Athletics Director Chris Del Conte. “First and foremost, I’m beyond grateful for the leadership of Chairman Eltife and Jay Hartzell in helping make this monumental day a reality. As we turn the page to our next chapter as members of the Southeastern Conference, I first must thank the Big 12 Conference and our friends and partners there that we shared 28 great years with. It’s a significant piece of our history and now we’re ready to build on that as we bring our pride and winning tradition to the conference that just means more. We’re looking forward to renewing old rivalries, sharing all our great traditions and rich and storied history of championship success with our new league, while continuing to compete at the highest level against the best of the best. We’re so fired up and thrilled to have Longhorn Nation joining us as we celebrate and move forward.”

UT kicked off its inaugural year in the SEC with a campus-wide celebration on June 30. Conference play officially begins with Texas Soccer hosting Alabama on Sept. 19, and the inaugural football game set for Sept. 28 as the Longhorns host Mississippi State at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. ESPN and the Southeastern Conference have announced kickoff times and television window assignments for football games into November, and the Longhorn Network will be relaunched as a free streaming service for Longhorns around the world.

Learn more about Texas’ history of conference play, athletics milestones, championship achievements, Longhorn traditions, visionary leaders and new SEC peers by visiting UT in the SEC. Hook ’em!