It's an exciting time for the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Tuesday they marched into the American Athletic Conference. It's a league that will bring them greater national exposure. However, there are two major obstacles TU is facing in their first year in the American. They will be taking on better competition and they need to improve facilities to keep up with institutions with much bigger budgets.
"I've talked to some of the athletic directors who's budgets more fit with ours and they're trying to feel their way through it too." said University of Tulsa Athletics Director Derrek Gragg, "So, do you have to keep up with the Joneses? In certain ways you do, but it's not all about the money I think it's about the commitment. On the revenue producing side I think we need to do some things as far as facilities and we're looking as types of things."The University of Tulsa leaves Conference USA with 56 conference titles in just 9 years. That more than doubles any other school in the league. And they look to continue that success despite facing a higher level of competition.
"We have great history here and it feels good to leave the conference having won that many conference championships. Four coaches of the year. You can spring board from those kinds of things." Gragg added, "It feels good. You never want limp into the new conference and we're not. We're going in with a full head of steam coming off a successful year. And historically coming off a great nine year run in the conference, so I think we have some momentum going in."
TU's new home has the reining Men's and Women's Basketball National Champions and a BCS bowl winning football team. The Golden Hurricane will have to figure out the lay of the land in a hurry.