Athletics News

UT Arlington accepts invitation to join Western Athletic Conference

UT Arlington Athletics will begin play in the WAC beginning July 2012

July 14, 2011

Arlington, Texas - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Gregg Elkin 214.577.8843/gelkin@uta.edu

Arlington, Texas (July 14, 2011) -- The University of Texas at Arlington announced today that it has accepted an invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) starting on July 1, 2012.

"We are honored to join the Western Athletic Conference," UT Arlington president James D. Spaniolo said. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that advances the interests of our university and positions our athletics programs to compete at a higher level. It is clear recognition of the growing prominence of UT Arlington."

"This day will long be remembered at UTA," athletic director Pete Carlon said. "We are excited to make the jump into the WAC and into a FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) conference. I know our entire university community is looking forward to our future in the WAC as we move more to a national stage."

"The addition of UT Arlington places the WAC in another top-20 media market, after Seattle and Denver joined the conference," WAC commissioner Karl Benson said. "Access to the Dallas-Fort Worth media market will help the WAC secure more lucrative television rights fees in the future, a benefit for all of our member institutions."

UT Arlington sponsors 14 Division I intercollegiate sports - baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's golf, softball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's indoor and outdoor track and field, and women's volleyball.

The Mavericks are currently a member of the Southland Conference and have been a charter member of the conference since 1963. UTA has won 53 conference championships since the start of the 1996-97 academic year. This past spring, 86 Mavericks were named to the Southland Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll.

"We want to thank Southland commissioner Tom Burnett and his staff for their leadership, assistance and friendship over our many years in the league," Carlon said. "We all wish them the best in their future endeavors."

In its nearly 50 years of existence, the WAC has evolved and it features some of the nation's best intercollegiate competition. The nation's sixth-oldest conference (founded July 27, 1962) provides its student-athletes the chance to travel to scenic destinations and gain exposure in some of the nation's most diverse markets. WAC student-athletes also have worked to achieve the highest levels of success with the academic support of their respective institutions.

The league crowns team and individual champions in 19 sports -- eight men's and 11 women's. There are men's championships in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, tennis and indoor, and outdoor track and field, while women compete in basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, and volleyball.

Current WAC members include Fresno State, Hawai'i, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, New Mexico State, San Jose State and Utah State. Fresno State, Hawai'i and Nevada will be leaving the conference at the end of the 2011-12 season with UTSA, Texas State, Denver and Seattle joining the league at that time along with UT Arlington.

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