Grand Canyon University is headed to the Western Athletic Conference and they made the announcement in grand fashion with a pep rally and press conference.
Governor Jan Brewer, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Jerry Colangelo, GCU President and CEO Brian Mueller and others were among those that spoke at the event.
“This is the first Division I school in the city of Phoenix,” Colangelo said.
“This is an historic day in the life of Grand Canyon University,” said Mueller. “We have made a commitment to excellence in athletics, just as we have academically, and that commitment has been recognized by the invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference, a conference with a storied past. NCAA Division I status will raise our university’s profile and illuminate the great things happening at Grand Canyon.”
“We welcome Grand Canyon University to the WAC and look forward to helping them make the transition in becoming a highly competitive Division I institution,” said WAC Interim Commissioner Jeff Hurd. “This is another important step in the rebuilding process of the WAC as we continue to strengthen the conference.”
Currently GCU fields 22 NCAA sponsored sports including men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, swimming and diving, soccer, wrestling and track and field.
GCU will begin competing in the WAC in July 2013 and after the four-year reclassification process the university will become a full Division I member and eligible for post-season.