Illinois director of athletics Ron Guenther and various head coaches react to the addition of Nebraska to the Big Ten Conference.
June 11, 2010
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany with Dave Revsine
Nebraska head football head coach Bo Pelini
Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez
Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi
Dave Revsine and Gerry DiNardo talk about potential Big Ten divisions
Press Conference: Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany welcomes Nebraska to the league
Board of Regents Meeting: Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In light of Friday's announcement by the Big Ten Conference of the addition of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Illinois director of athletics Ron Guenther and selected Illini head coaches offer their views.
Director of athletics Ron Guenther:
"Nebraska is a special brand and is a very good fit for the Big Ten. They have a broad-based program including a nationally recognized football team. Nebraska is a good academic and geographic fit for the conference and I believe the culture is very similar to existing members in the Big Ten."
Football head coach Ron Zook:
"Nebraska has a great football tradition as well as a high level of success in many other sports. They bring the Big Ten to an even number and are a good fit as a strong midwestern university. They will provide another challenge in an already extremely competitive conference, but we look forward to competing with the Cornhuskers as soon as the schedules can be coordinated."
Men's basketball head coach Bruce Weber:
"Nebraska is a great addition to our league as another strong state school with a passionate following like so many in our conference. Doc Sadler is a great, defensive-minded coach from the Eddie Sutton coaching tree just like Coach (Gene) Keady, and his teams will always play hard and be a difficult opponent."
Women's basketball coach Jolette Law:
"Nebraska is a great fit for the Big Ten Conference. From a women's basketball standpoint, Coach Connie Yori has done a fantastic job building an elite program and I look forward to having another great team to compete against. From an overall standpoint, Nebraska has all the characteristics of a top-notch university and will help to broaden the reach of the Big Ten."
Volleyball head coach Kevin Hambly:
"It's a great fit and it means the Big Ten could be considered the premier volleyball conference because Nebraska has been one of the top five, if not top two, volleyball programs in the country historically. It will make for incredible competition and I'm excited to see how we elevate each others' play as the years go by."
Baseball head coach Dan Hartleb:
"The addition of Nebraska from a baseball standpoint will be a positive thing for the Big Ten. They are a program with a great winning tradition and great facilities. Their presence will help continue the upward trend of Big Ten baseball."
Wrestling head coach Jim Heffernan:
"Nebraska adds another top-tier wrestling program to an already loaded conference. Nebraska will be a team that will be competitive immediately and will certainly challenge everyone. The toughest wrestling conference in the country just became tougher."
Director of gymnastics/women's gymnastics coach Bob Starkell:
"The University of Nebraska is an excellent addition for the Big Ten. As a strong, midwestern school with similar values as the existing members, I don't think we could have found a better fit. Both the men's and women's gymnastics programs at Nebraska have a strong history, which will make our conference championships incredibly competitive. The addition is especially important for men's gymnastics, as it gives the Big Ten seven programs in the conference."
Men's gymnastics associate head coach Justin Spring:
"The addition of Nebraska to the Big Ten is extremely exciting. With the number of men's gymnastics programs dwindling across the country, adding a seventh team to our conference is a huge boost to our sport. Nebraska has always been a strong program and with them joining the Big Ten, we will all have to increase our competition level."
Women's track and field head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey:
"The addition of Nebraska will make the Big Ten conference even more competitive in track and field. Nebraska has had a rich tradition in track and field and has excelled in recent years at both the conference and national level."
Women's swimming and diving head coach Sue Novitsky:
"It's an exciting day for the conference with the addition of Nebraska. They obviously have a lot of great athletic tradition in a number of sports. They bring a lot of things to the table and will make our conference even more competitive than it already is."