The Great West Conference will begin play next fall and the coaches are
excited about the opportunity to play for a conference championship.
Here is a sampling of the coaches' comments in regard to the formation
of the Great West Football Conference.
South Dakota State head coach John Stiegelmeier:
"I am tremendously excited for a number of reasons," South Dakota State head coach John Stiegelmeier said. "First and foremost, our players will be able to compete for a
conference championship in the first year of our reclassification. They have committed to our mission and they deserve the opportunity provided by playing for a championship. I am also excited about the caliber of competition that the Great West Conference will present for all the schools. We are moving to Division I-AA for a number of reasons, and one of those reasons is to compete at the highest level. The Great West Conference is that type of league. I appreciate all the hard work that has been done to formulate the
conference this fast."
Cal Poly head coach Rich Ellerson:
"The quality of opponents we're talking about being in this conference would be on par with the Big Sky right away, and with UC Davis a part of this thing, it would also give us a natural rivalry game and allow for other rivalries to mature and evolve" Ellerson said. "It also will help with the scheduling nightmare. The teams in the new conference have a history similar to our own. They're teams that are well known and well respected in the football world. They're competitive at the I-AA level right now."
North Dakota State head coach Craig Bohl:
"The Great West Football Conference is comprised of some of the new emerging programs in Division I-AA football and the Bison are excited to be aligned with a group of talented teams," Bohl said. "We look forward to the challenge."
Southern Utah head coach Wes Meier:
"First and most importantly the conference will give our athletes and coaches a chance to win a conference title," Meier said. "At the same time it helps our chances of getting into the playoffs. A conference also helps develop strong rivalries, which makes for exciting football. Being in this conference will also help us in recruiting, because the student-athletes we recruit want to be playing for a conference title."
Northern Colorado head coach O. Kay Dalton:
"The most important thing is that for our players, they now have a championship to play for," Northern Colorado head coach O. Kay Dalton said. "We had a great year in our first year of the transition by going 9-2 but we didn't get to celebrate a conference title and this year we will now have that opportunity. The quality of competition in this conference will be some of the best we will see at the Division I-AA level."
UC Davis head coach Bob Biggs:
"The Great West Conference is great news," Biggs said. "In light of our move to
NCAA Division I-AA and not having been in a conference during most of
my tenure here, this is a great way to have a tangible goal to compete for; to have a conference championship and player awards. A lot of these games have already been great rivalries. The Great West Conference puts even more importance on those games."