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Ask Me About | John Cunningham

Director of Athletics, University of Cincinnati

by Elizabeth Miller Wood

ASK ME ABOUT: UC’s move to the Big 12 Conference this fall

HOW ARE THE UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI’S FALL TEAMS PREPARING FOR THEIR FIRST SEASON IN THE BIG 12? They know it will be a challenge, but we work hard as a department to embrace difficulty. It will make our teams better. We were thrilled to hire Scott Satterfield as our next head football coach, and we think he’s the perfect leader to usher us into the Big 12. We also hired a new soccer coach in Erica Demers, from the University of Alabama-Birmingham, and she’s done a great job instilling a culture in her program in a short time. So it’s a time of transition and a time of excitement.

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF JOINING A NEW CONFERENCE? Financially, it will take two years for us to receive a full distribution of all conference revenue, including television dollars. The University of Cincinnati has always been defined by its grit and ability to do more with less. We don’t expect our core values to change, and we expect to compete for championships in the Big 12.

HOW CAN FANS PARTICIPATE IN THIS JOURNEY? I can’t stress enough how crucial our fanbase is to our success. It’s important to carry our momentum into the coming years by filling the grandstands. I encourage our fans and supporters to consider participating in the name-image-likeness space through Cincy Reigns, the NIL collective supporting Bearcats student-athletes.