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Big East's Tranghese retires

| Thursday, June 5, 2008

Big East Conference commissioner Mike Tranghese, who has been with the league since its inception in 1979 and helped to navigate it through a series of transformations over the years, will retire at the end of the 2008-09 season.

"I am stepping down at this point because I believe it is the right time," Tranghese said today. "The conference is in great shape and it will give my successor the best opportunity to be successful.

"I believe our conference is undergoing an unprecedented period of success. Our basketball conference does not have to take a back seat to anyone and our football has progressed so quickly. Our Olympic sports are stronger than ever. And I believe everything is in place for the Big East to be even better in the future."

Pitt and West Virginia are among the league's 16-team membership. The Big East, which started as a seven-team basketball league, has more than doubled in expansion and offers competition in 23 intercollegiate sports.

Tranghese pushed for the start of the Big East football conference, which later lost three key programs -- Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech -- but recovered with the additions of South Florida, Louisville and Cincinnati. The basketball conference also expanded by adding those three schools as well as Marquette and DePaul.

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