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Sep 12, 2012

Report: Notre Dame confirms it will join ACC

The ACC and the University of Notre Dame announced Wednesday that the Irish will join the league for all sports excluding football, but did not give an exact time frame for the switch.

The Fighting Irish will make the move from the BIG EAST in men’s soccer, from which they have been a member since 1995. Head soccer coach Bobby Clark said in a statement Tuesday that he experienced a range of emotions after hearing the news.

“It’s kind of a bittersweet moment because I enjoyed being in the BIG EAST,” Clark said Tuesday afternoon. “It was a great conference for us and for soccer and I have a lot of friends in the BIG EAST. Having said that, I must say I’m very, very excited to join the ACC. It is one of the top soccer conferences in the country. It’ll be sad to leave old friends, but I am also happy to meet new friends.”

Clark also said that a change in conference will not mean a change in coaching or recruiting philosophy based on the makeup and style of the league. Notre Dame is 2-0 already this season against ACC teams, having taken down Duke and Clemson in one-goal contests.

“The ACC is the ‘Cadillac’ soccer conference in the U.S.,” added Clark. “I think we can recruit in any conference because Notre Dame has the brand and the reputation so we could recruit against anyone. I don’t think it’ll hurt our recruiting at all.”

The ACC is also adding Pittsburgh and Syracuse from the BIG EAST next season, which would bring the league to 12 teams in the men’s soccer division including Notre Dame’s entry.

 

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