GREAT WEST EXPANDS TO ALL-SPORT CONFERENCE
July 10, 2008
ELMHURST, ILL. - The Great West has had a very successful run in its first four years as a football-only conference, but the league will take a giant leap forward in the coming years when it expands to include a minimum of six schools and 14 additional sports, Commissioner Ed Grom announced today. By expanding to an all-sports league, the Great West has invited six schools to enter under the Great West umbrella and begin competing in several sports in the 2008-09 year and beginning full conference scheduling in team sports and conducting the full complement of championships in 2009-10.
The schools becoming members of the all-sports league are Houston Baptist University (HBU), New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), University of North Dakota (UND), University of South Dakota (USD), University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) and Utah Valley University. All six schools have accepted the invitation, and additional institutions may announce their acceptance in the next few months. The Great West Football Conference includes the University of North Dakota, the University of South Dakota, Cal Poly, UC Davis and Southern Utah. Football-only members Cal Poly and UC Davis will remain in the Big West for the balance of their athletic teams, while Southern Utah will continue to compete in the Summit League. North Dakota and South Dakota, new football members that will begin play in the fall, as well as Houston Baptist are currently in their second year of transition up to the Division I level. All three schools will become NCAA Division I counters for scheduling purposes in 2009-10. Texas-Pan American has been a member of NCAA Division I for many years, while Utah Valley University and NJIT become active Division I members in 2009-10.