Published: Sept. 1, 2011 By

CU and state and local officials celebrated the university’s entrance into the Pac-12 Conference on July 1. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper declared it Pac-12 Day, and the Spirit Bell at the Center for Community, which opened in August 2010 east of Regent Hall, and the Old Main bell rang a dozen times at noon to commemorate the occasion.

The move marked CU’s first wholesale change in conferences since it switched from the Mountain States to the Big Seven in 1948.

The challenge is to capitalize on the excitement and keep fueling that sense of optimism and pride, athletic director Mike Bohn says.

CU coaches are emphasizing the importance of making an immediate impact.

“We want to make a statement,” women’s basketball coach Linda Lappe (Mktg’02) says. “The first five years can be very pivotal to how other teams view you for the next 20 years.”