The Army Black Knights will join the American Athletic Conference beginning with the 2024 season, it was announced on Wednesday.
Army will officially join The American effective on July 1, 2024. With the Navy Midshipmen also in the conference, the Army-Navy Game will continue to be played annually as a non-conference contest during the second weekend of December.
Should Army and Navy both finish at the top of the AAC standings, they would play in consecutive weeks in the American Football Championship and then again in the Army-Navy Game.
The Black Knights will also continue to play the Air Force Falcons annually in the non-conference, which preserves the battle for the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy between the three service academies.
“I am excited to start the next chapter of Army football,” Army Director of Athletics Mike Buddie said. “In today’s evolving collegiate athletics landscape, it is great to partner with established, respected programs to secure the future success of Army football. New NCAA rules, the evolution and growth of the College Football Playoff, the transfer portal, and name, image and likeness have all impacted our competitive landscape, so having a clear path to a Conference Championship, while continuing to fight for the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy, will help us attract, retain, and showcase our exceptional coaches and cadets. What better pairing than to have America’s Team joining the American Athletic Conference?”
CBS Sports Network will continue to broadcast Army’s home football games through the 2028 season.
“Like many of the proud moments that Army Football has enjoyed over the last several seasons including victories over our academy rivals, record-setting seasons, Commander-in-Chief’s trophies, and multiple bowl games, Army’s alliance with the American Athletic Conference is a source of pride for our Academy, our program, and for me personally,” Army Head Coach Jeff Monken said.
“I am proud to be West Point’s coach as we take this step from a history of independency to conference affiliation and take on the challenges of the competition in the American Athletic Conference. Our membership in the AAC partners us with outstanding Universities and athletic programs from around the nation and will give our football program the opportunity to compete for a conference championship and for our exceptional Cadet-Athletes to represent and showcase America’s premier service academy.”
The United States Military Academy West Point, located in West Point, N.Y., has competed as a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Independent since the 2005 season. Prior to that, Army’s football program was a member of Conference USA from 1998 through 2004.
The Black Knights play their football games at historic Blaik Field at Michie Stadium, which currently has a seating capacity of 38,000.
“We are honored to welcome Army to the American Athletic Conference,” AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco said. “Army’s football program has an iconic national brand with a legacy of success that spans more than a century and is a perfect fit with our conference. We are immensely proud to welcome another of our nation’s distinguished service academies with a proud history and central role in defending America and our freedoms, and which is one of the nation’s most prestigious academic institutions. I would like to thank Lieutenant General Steven Gilland and Athletic Director Mike Buddie for their vision and partnership throughout this process. We look forward to having Army and coach Jeff Monken on our sidelines beginning in 2024.”
Army will replace the SMU Mustangs in The American following their move to the ACC in 2024. Below is a look at the complete American Athletic Conference lineup beginning next season:
- Army Black Knights
- Charlotte 49ers
- East Carolina Pirates
- Florida Atlantic Owls
- Memphis Tigers
- Navy Midshipmen
- North Texas Mean Green
- Rice Owls
- Temple Owls
- Tulane Green Wave
- Tulsa Golden Hurricane
- UAB Blazers
- USF Bulls
- UTSA Roadrunners