The Providence Friars is the name of the athletic teams of Providence College. They compete in the Big East Conference for every sport except for ice hockey, where they compete in Hockey East. The Big East Conference was founded in 1979 by former athletic director and men's basketball coach Dave Gavitt. On December 15, 2012, Providence and the other seven Catholic, non-FBS schools announced that they were departing the Big East for a new conference; on March 7, 2013, it was officially confirmed that Providence's new conference would operate under the Big East name. The women's volleyball team, which had been an associate member of the America East Conference before the Big East split, remained in that conference for one more season before joining the Big East for the 2014 season.
The school's men's and women's sports teams are called the Friars, after the Dominican Order that runs the school. They are the only collegiate team to use the name.