Grand Forks, ND , June 15th, 2011
University of North Dakota Director of Athletics Brian Faison is pleased to announce that UND has accepted an invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) as an affiliate member in women's swimming and diving beginning with the 2011-12 season. North Dakota's arrival will keep the WAC at eight women's teams following the departure of Boise State for the Mountain West Conference. The WAC does not sponsor a men's swimming championship.
The announcement comes following the conclusion of the WAC's Board of Directors meeting in Park City, Utah.
"This is an important next step for our women's swimming and diving program," said Faison. "We now have a true conference championship to compete for."
Full-time member institutions of the WAC currently include Fresno State, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, New Mexico State, State Jose State and Utah State. Denver, Seattle, Texas-San Antonio and Texas State will join the WAC as full-time members in 2012-13. Northern Arizona, like UND, is an affiliate member in women's swimming and diving.
"We are excited to compete in the WAC," said UND swimming coach Steve Parsons. "It will definitely be a challenging conference for our women and will push us to a higher level. It is a great move for our women's program."
UND's men's swimming and diving program will continue to compete in the Conference USA Championship as an invitee.
The WAC, located in Denver, was formed on July 27, 1962 and is the sixth oldest among the nation's 11 NCAA Division I-A conferences. Presently, the WAC crowns team and individual champions in 19 sports - eight men's and 11 women's. For the men, there are championships in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, tennis, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field. Championships for women are held in basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field and volleyball.