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November 12th, 2010
Texas State joins Western Athletic Conference

Texas State University president Denise M. Trauth speaks to reporters at the official announcement yesterday that the university will join the Western Athletic Conference. PHOTO by CHANDLER PRUDE/TEXAS STATE MARKETING

SUBMITTED REPORT

Texas State University will join the Western Athletic Conference along wit the University of Denver and the University of Texas at San Antonio, officials said on Thursday.

The announcement was made by the chair of the WAC Board of Directors and Utah State University President Stan Albrecht and WAC Commissioner Karl Benson after the board unanimously voted to issue the invitations earlier this week.

“Three years ago, an Athletic Strategic Planning Committee recommended that we begin the journey toward FBS football, saying we should reach this goal within five years of Fall 2008,” said Texas State president Denise Trauth.  “We are very excited to have reached this important goal, and look forward to being a part of the WAC.

Texas State, along with UT-San Antonio, are currently members of the Southland Conference and will be making the move up from the Football Championship Subdivison (FCS) to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in 2012. Denver becomes the first full member in WAC history to join the league without a football program. The additions mean that for the 2012-13 season, the WAC will consist of nine full-time members, eight of which will play football.

“This is a great day for Bobcat Athletics,” Texas State athletic director Larry Teis said. “We want to thank the current Southland Conference members for their friendships and competitive rivalries. We have been a proud participant in the SLC since 1987, but at the same time, we are looking forward to an exciting future as a new member of the Western Athletic Conference.”

Benson added that the WAC will continue to explore the possibility of adding additional members to the league.

“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,” said Benson.  “And  as the WAC prepares to begin its next 50 years as an athletic 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.”

Texas State, founded in 1899, has an enrollment of 32,586 and is located in San Marcos, Texas, 50 miles northeast of San Antonio.  TXST sponsors 16 men’s and women’s sports and plays its home basketball games in Strahan Coliseum (7,200) and its home football games in Bobcat Stadium, which will undergo an expansion project next  May to increase its seating capacity from 16,000 currently to nearly 30,000 for the 2012 season.

The university has won six national championships and 51 Southland Conference titles and 27 SLC Tournament championships since the Bobcats joined the league in 1987. The Bobcats have won five SLC Commissioner’s Cups as the top program in the league, and 33 SLC titles since 2000.

Among the SLC championships are two football titles in 2005 and 2008, and Texas State advanced to the NCAA FCS Playoffs both years, reaching the semifinals in 2005.

In addition, during the last three years, Texas State’s volleyball team has averaged 22 wins, won a SLC championship and made two NCAA appearances.  The Bobcats won three SLC softball championships, while Texas State’s baseball team won SLC titles each of the last two years, women’s soccer won SLC championships in 2008 and 2009,  and women’s golf won conference championships during 2008 and 2010.

The baseball and softball teams played in the 2009 NCAA Tournament, while women’s soccer made an NCAA appearance in 2008 and women’s golf participated in the 2008 and 2010 NCAA Tournaments.

UTSA, founded in 1969, has an enrollment of more than 30,000 students on its three campuses (Main, Downtown and Institute of Texan Cultures). The University has grown quickly in its relatively short history and it has plans for $265 million in construction over the next three years. The Roadrunners have won 48 Southland Conference Championships since joining the league in 1991-92 and they won the 2007-08 Commissioner’s Cup as the top overall athletics department. The newly-created football program will play its games in the 65,000-seat Alamodome, while the basketball and volleyball teams play in the Convocation Center (4,080).

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