(Nov. 11, 2010)--The University of Texas at San Antonio announced Thursday that it has accepted an invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). The Roadrunners, who joined Denver and Texas State in accepting invitations, officially will be a member of the WAC on July 1, 2012.
"Today is an outstanding day to be a Roadrunner," said UTSA President Ricardo Romo. "We are very excited about this new partnership, which is a great fit for us and a significant step forward for the university and the entire city of San Antonio."
"This is yet another historic day for UTSA," Athletics Director Lynn Hickey said. "We have been working extremely hard for a very long time to reach our goal of joining an FBS -- Football Bowl Subdivision - conference, and today's invitation is a realization of a lot of hard work by so many different people. This is another great day for the university and our athletics department, and everyone is excited to take the next step up."
"The addition of these three schools clearly sends a message that the WAC and its member schools are prepared to move forward to build a 'new' WAC," Commissioner Karl Benson said. "As the WAC prepares to begin its next 50 years as an athletics conference, I am confident that these three new members, along with the six other WAC schools, will continue to compete at the highest level of the NCAA."
UTSA competes in 17 intercollegiate sports -- baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, football, men's and women's golf, women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's indoor and outdoor track and field, and women's volleyball -- at the Division I level.
The Roadrunners currently are a part of the Southland Conference, where they have been a member since 1991-1992. The department has won 48 Southland Team Championships since joining the league, 22 of which have come since 2000-2001. UTSA also won the 2007-2008 Commissioner's Cup, and it boasts 25 Southland Student-Athletes of the Year since the league started handing out the award in 2002-2003.
"The Southland is a great conference, and we want to thank its leadership and member institutions for everything they have done the last 20 years," Hickey said.
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.
The league has experienced tremendous success during the last 10 years.
It has sent 31 teams to bowl games since 2001 including more than half of its teams in 2008 (a record-tying five), and the conference has been represented in Bowl Championship Series bowl games in three of the last four seasons.
In men's basketball, the WAC has sent at least two teams to the NCAA Tournament in 24 of the past 27 seasons, while the league boasts two National Champions since 2003. In women's sports, Louisiana Tech basketball has played in all but three NCAA Tournaments, while Hawai'i made its fourth trip to the NCAA Volleyball Championship since 2000 a year ago.
Current WAC members include Boise State, Fresno State, Hawai'i, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, New Mexico State, San Jose State and Utah State. Boise State will move to the Mountain West Conference (MWC) at the conclusion of the 2010-2011 season, while Fresno State and Nevada will join the Broncos in the MWC one year later.
Former WAC institutions include charter members Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, as well as Air Force, Colorado State, Rice, San Diego State, SMU, TCU, Tulsa, UNLV and UTEP.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is one of the fastest-growing higher education institutions in Texas and one of nine academic universities and six health institutions in the UT System. As a multicultural institution, UTSA aims to be a national research university providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
UTSA serves more than 30,300 students in 65 bachelor's, 49 master's and 21 doctoral degree programs in the Colleges of Architecture, Business, Education and Human Development, Engineering, Honors, Liberal and Fine Arts, Public Policy, Sciences and Graduate School. Founded in 1969, it is an intellectual and creative resource center and a socioeconomic development catalyst for Texas and beyond.
UTSA open up the 2016 football season under new coach Frank Wilson at home. The Roadrunners host the Alabama State Hornets. Kick off is set for 6 p.m.
District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg and State Sen. José Menéndez host a Cultural Conversations event at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures to talk about issues of intolerance and ways to unify the community.
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures
Known for her unique ability to make sophisticated numbers reveal simple truths, Talithia Williams explores how big data can be used to make smart decisions in education, business, and everyday situations.
Main Building Auditorium, MB 0.104, Main Campus
The UTSA International Conference on Aging inthe Americas seeks to address the important context in understanding how characteristics of physical, social and economic environments give rise to disparities in Latino health in older adults.
UTSA Downtown Campus, Durango Bldg. Southwest Room (DB 1.124)
UTSA Mexico Center director Dr. Harriett Romo and program coordinator Olivia Mogollon, along with U.S. and Mexican scholars discuss migration between Mexico and the U.S. during this panel presentation.
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.