U of L celebrates entrance to ACC - WDRB 41 Louisville News

U of L celebrates entrance to ACC

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- U of L entered a new level of excellence Tuesday with their jump into the ACC.

Louisville athletics has come a long way, and U of L officials say the entrance into the ACC is recognition for the hard work and growth the school has seen during that time.

At a press conference Tuesday, U of L Athletic Director Tom Jurich said he is honored to join one of the most prestigious athletic conferences in the country.

"We're not the biggest, we're not the best, but we're going to work our butts off to make you proud," said Jurich, addressing ACC Commissioner John Swofford. 

Jurich admitted he didn't think Louisville stood a chance with the ACC, as he didn't foresee an opening, and he was sure they didn't want to expand their membership. Thanks to Maryland's departure, the unthinkable became a reality.

"I thought it was unrealistic. I didn't ever see them expanding," said Jurich. "Our new best friends are the University of Maryland, and they will continue to be."

Over the years, U of L has bounced from one conference to the next. The ACC will be U of L's third conference in three years -- but officials say it will be the program's last stop for a while.

U of L joins elite institutions such as Duke, Virginia Tech, Boston College and Notre Dame. Matchups Jurich looks forward to.

"Anytime you can raise the bar, anytime you can put yourself in the position to compete with such phenomenal schools that have the prestige that they do, it's a win-win for everybody."

University President Dr. James Ramsey says entry into the ACC does not just give the school a boost athletically, but also academically. The school is hoping association with the ACC will help move the university forward.

"This is truly a landmark day," Ramsey said. "This is an outstanding conference athletically, academically, and going forward the University of Louisville will continue on its upward trajectory without skipping a beat."

With the addition of Louisville, ACC athletics will now be broadcast in more households nationwide, with the largest population of any conference.

 Events are going on throughout the day today to celebrate Louisville's entrance into the ACC. The day will conclude with a celebration at Fourth Street Live! starting at 5 p.m. The event will include remarks from ACC and U of L officials and athletes, along with music and fan giveaways. Admission is free.

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