CSUB To Western Athletic Conference in 2013
BAKERSFIELD Calif.,- California State University, Bakersfield President Dr. Horace Mitchell, along with Western Athletic Conference Commissioner Jeff Hurd, announced today that CSU Bakersfield has accepted a formal invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference as an all-sports member, effective Fall 2013.
Following a vote of its Presidents, the WAC Board of Directors extended the invitation for membership to CSU Bakersfield.
“I want to thank my colleague presidents and chancellors in the Western Athletic Conference for extending this invitation of membership to CSU Bakersfield. We are very pleased to accept it,” Mitchell said. “The University, our students, student-athletes and our community see this conference affiliation as further solidifying our status in NCAA Division I. I have spoken to each of the WAC CEOs over the past few weeks and they expect CSUB to be an integral part of the WAC’s future success. That is our expectation as well. This is a great day for the University and our athletics program.”
The Western Athletic Conference is in its 50th year of existence after establishment in 1962. During their tenure in Division I Athletics, the conference has been host to institutions in 13 different states providing its student-athletes the chance to travel to scenic destinations and gain exposure in some of the nation's most diverse markets. In addition, the WAC's student-athletes work to achieve the highest levels of success with the academic support of their respective institutions.
This landmark announcement for CSU Bakersfield Athletics gives all Roadrunner teams access to conference resources, scheduling, conference tournaments when applicable and the automatic qualifier spots for NCAA Championships, making it easier for CSUB teams to qualify for the NCAA postseason. CSU Bakersfield joins Utah Valley University in the first phase of expansion for the conference. CSUB and UVU join Idaho, New Mexico State, Denver University and Seattle University as core members of the WAC.
“This is obviously a ground-breaking day,” said CSUB Director of Athletics Jeff Konya. “We have been working towards this end and we are grateful for this opportunity to compete as a full member of the Western Athletic Conference beginning in 2013. We now have the opportunity to compete for conference titles and most importantly take advantage of the automatic qualifier status and allow our student-athletes to compete on an equal level for participation in their respective NCAA Championships.”
With the all-sports agreement, at least 13 of CSUB’s 18 teams will become members of the conference; most notably, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s soccer and volleyball, all of which were the lone remaining teams playing as NCAA Division I Independents. In addition, men’s and women’s golf along with track and field programs will begin their affiliations in the Fall of 2013.
“Both CSU Bakersfield and Utah Valley are quality institutions and bring high level competitive and academic qualities to the 2013-14 membership,” Hurd said. “We are excited to begin the process of rebuilding the WAC and will continue to work to reestablish the league as one of the top Division I conferences in the West.”