I was fortunate to attend the American Athletic Conference (AAC) announcement today at Wichita State University (WSU). The University’s move from the Missouri Valley Conference to the AAC is a BIG WIN for the entire community, not just the athletic department and Shocker sports fans.
The cheerleaders, WuShock, pep band and entire crowd made the announcement a high-energy event. Speakers included WSU President John Bardo, Athletic Director Daron Boatright, Coach Gregg Marshall, Student Body President-Elect Paige Hungate, Mayor Jeff Longwell and Commissioner David Unruh.
A move to AAC means much more for Wichita than better basketball. Alignment with respected research institutions and other innovative cities enhances the perception of our entire region as well as the University’s image. The business community recognizes that WSU is an important economic engine for the region. When WSU succeeds, the entire Wichita region succeeds. We lift each other up and this is a great example of why it’s so important for us to continue to work together.
The new conference puts Wichita in the same league as some of the major cities represented by AAC schools: Houston, Memphis, New Orleans, Dallas, Tulsa, Tampa, Orlando, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and more.
I must add that one of the classiest parts of today’s announcement were the positive comments about the Missouri Valley Conference that were shared by Dr. Bardo, Boatright and Coach Marshall.
That honestly made me just as proud of our great University.
It’s a great day to be a Shocker!