Here’s the release from the Western Athletic Conference:
PARK CITY, Utah — Seattle University will join the Western Athletic Conference effective July 1, 2012. The announcement comes following the conclusion of the Board of Directors meeting in which presidents of both the incumbent and incoming schools for 2012 met to address several issues important to the present and future of the WAC.
With Seattle’s addition, the WAC will consist of nine full-time members for the 2012-13 season: Denver (non-football), Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Seattle (non-football), Texas State, Texas-San Antonio and Utah State.
“Seattle’s tradition and history along with a strong commitment to academics, its athletics program and their facilities make the university and its top-15 media market a great fit for the WAC,” said WAC Commissioner Karl Benson. “We look forward to a beneficial and successful relationship.”
Seattle, currently an independent, sponsors 19 sports, 17 of which will compete in the WAC, including men’s and women’s cross country, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, men’s and women’s basketball, softball, baseball, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s tennis. The Redhawks were a Division I team from 1950 to 1980 and its men’s basketball team, led by Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor, advanced to the NCAA title game in 1958.
Academically, Seattle received APR (Academic Progress Rate) Public Recognition Awards this past May for women’s soccer, women’s tennis, women’s outdoor track and field, men’s golf and men’s cross country as each of those teams had perfect scores of 1000 in the NCAA’s measurement of academic success. Also, its student-athletes have maintained a 3.1 GPA over the last four years.
The men’s and women’s basketball tournament will return to the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas for the 2011-12 season. This past March, the tournaments made their first appearances at the Orleans, the first truly neutral site for the tournament in league history.
The Redhawks, of course, are coached by former UW assistant Cameron Dollar, who has always expressed ambivalence about joining a conference.
In the coming season, Seattle U visits Hec Ed on Jan. 10.