A New Direction
By Michael J. Graham, S.J.
The new Big East met in mid-March in solemn conclave, not in Rome but New York City. I’m happy to report that the smoke was blue. Xavier is going to the Big East.
This is a thrilling moment in the lives of us all, with important implications that touch us all. It is something we have been working toward for years, and in the best way possible: by building an athletic program where the success of our students on courts and courses and fields is exceeded only by their success in the classroom.
It is important, therefore, to pay tribute to one individual whose work, more than any other, has positioned us for this announcement, namely our longtime athletic director, Mike Bobinski. As you probably know, Mike’s last day here at X was March 22. Mike, I’m so glad that you could share this special news, for no one worked as hard as you to make it happen. We’ll miss you more than we can say and wish you Godspeed and good luck at Georgia Tech.
I’d like as well to salute the schools and the leadership of the Atlantic 10 Conference, our partners for the last 18 years, and Commissioner Bernadette McGlade in particular. Handing them our formal notification was a bittersweet experience indeed. Together, we have built the Atlantic 10 into a highly regarded athletic conference, known for competitive and academic success. I have no doubt that the Atlantic 10’s future is bright and look forward to following its success in the future.
But this is our day, Xavier’s day, and it belongs to all of us:
To our coaches and student-athletes, of course, who will have a fresh chance to do what coaches and athletes relish best, namely compete and win at the highest level.
To our students who will build lasting memories around games featuring rivals with storied names: Providence, DePaul, Georgetown, Villanova, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Marquette, Butler, Creighton.
To our fans throughout the far-flung Xavier Nation who, if they needed any reason to bleed a deeper shade of Xavier blue, just got one.
To our faculty, who can see in this move, I hope, a clear sign of what we intend for the academic future of an ever more distinguished Xavier University.
And to all of us, whoever we are and however we are inserted into the life of this special place, because everyone who has ever worked to make Xavier a better place tomorrow than it was yesterday has a share in what we mark with this move.
As you know, we are engaged now in planning for Xavier’s future in multiple ways. It is a large and important undertaking, because the world around us is changing profoundly and the future is as uncertain as just about any future has ever been. This is, therefore, a moment for special celebration indeed, for it reminds us that patient work, executed steadily over years, yields milestone moments like this, where we can see both where we have come from and where we are going next.
Friends, now more than ever: Let’s go X.
• Watch a video of the announcement of Xavier’s move to the Big East.
• Watch an interview with Mike Bobinski about his time at Xavier.
• Explore an interactive timeline of Xavier’s athletic and institutional highlights over the last 30 years.
• Watch a video of key moments in Xavier basketball over the last 30 years.