After the news of Maryland's move to the Big 10 broke last week, the Atlantic Coast Conference has acted swiftly, extending an invitation to Louisville to join the conference as of 2014 on Wednesday.
“With its aggressive approach to excellence in every respect, the University of Louisville will enhance our league’s culture and commitment to the cornerstones we were founded on 60 years ago,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a press release. “The University of Louisville is an outstanding addition to the Atlantic Coast Conference and I commend the Council of Presidents for continuing to position our league for the long-term future. If you look at what has been done over the last 15 months, the ACC has only gotten stronger with the additions of Louisville, Notre Dame, Pitt and Syracuse.”
From a soccer perspective, this makes a significant aspect with regards to both men's and women's soccer. The loss of Maryland was a definite blow to the ACC's soccer stature, especially on the men's side, and the move is definitely promising to help deal with that departure
Head coach Ken Lolla has led the Cardinals to prominence in the men's game, competing on an annual basis for Big East honors, guiding his team to the 2010 College Cup and national final, while consistently going deep into tournaments -- including the 2012 tournament, where his side will face the Terps this Saturday in the quarterfinal.
And on the women's side, head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes is another program on the rise, despite missing out on an NCAA Tournament berth this past fall. She certainly has the talent to keep up in a new but challenging conference.
A move to the ACC would certainly boost the profile of Louisville's women's program, while the men's program certainly hopes cope with the expected loss of the Maryland men's team.
"The University of Louisville is honored to join the ACC, a conference with a long history of excellence in athletics and academics," Dr. James Ramsey, President, University of Louisville said in a press release. "The ACC will be a great home for UofL and our commitment to great academics, groundbreaking research and top-notch athletic teams."