(Official press release from the Western Athletic Conference)
The Western Athletic Conference announced that The University of Texas-Pan American has accepted an invitation for membership to join the conference, effective July 1, 2013.
Texas-Pan American becomes the eighth member of the conference in 2013-14, joining New Mexico State University; University of Idaho; California State University, Bakersfield; Chicago State University; Grand Canyon University; Seattle University; and Utah Valley University.
“The addition of The University of Texas-Pan American adds another important piece to the rebuilding of the Western Athletic Conference,” said WAC Interim Commissioner Jeff Hurd. “UTPA brings a program with 60 years of history and success, and we look forward to the Broncs competing at a high level in the WAC.”
UTPA will bring all 14 of its sports – baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track & field, and volleyball – to the WAC and will begin competition with the upcoming 2013-14 season.
“This is a defining moment in the history of UTPA Athletics, and it has been a long time coming,” UTPA Director of Athletics Chris King said. “We have been working hard for the last few years to transform this department into one that is no longer content with simply being at the Division I level, but instead has a strong group of student-athletes and coaches who can help us compete for championships while excelling in the classroom and the community. This is another step in that transformation process. Aligning ourselves with a nationally recognized and well-branded conference such as the WAC will allow us to gain national exposure for both UTPA and the entire Rio Grande Valley.”
Located in Edinburg, Texas and the Rio Grande Valley, UTPA’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics competes at the NCAA Division I level. UTPA, formerly known as Pan American College and Pan American University, is a part of the University of Texas System of Schools.
The Broncs have won six team national championships, including the 1963 NAIA Championship in men’s basketball and every NAIA Championship in men’s tennis from 1961 through 1965. The baseball team has seen the most success at the NCAA Division I level, reaching the NCAA Tournament 13 times, including an appearance in the 1971 College World Series.