Aug. 24, 2012
IRVINE, Calif. - The Big West Conference Board of Directors today announced that Boise State University is rejoining the Conference as an 11th member institution. The Broncos follow San Diego State into the league after the Aztecs accepted an invitation on Dec. 12, 2011.
Boise State, which initially competed in the Big West from 1996-2001, represents the third recent membership addition to the Conference. The University of Hawai`i, Manoa officially joined the Big West on July 1, 2012. SDSU and Boise State are simultaneously set to come on board effective July 1, 2013.
"The Big West Conference welcomes an established, nationally recognized institution in Boise State at a time of unprecedented growth for its members," said Long Beach State University President Dr. F. King Alexander, Chair of the Big West Board of Directors, who made the announcement. "We look forward to BSU contributing to the conference's national standing as it continues to evolve."
Beginning in 2013-14, Boise State will participate in 13 Big West championship sports: men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track and field, and women's volleyball.
SDSU, meanwhile, will bring all of its teams with the exception of football, women's crew, women's lacrosse, women's swimming and diving and women's indoor track and field to the Big West. A majority of those sports will begin competition in the Big West in the 2013-14 academic year, except for water polo which will start participating in the spring of 2013, and men's soccer which will open Big West play in the fall of 2015.
The BSU and SDSU football programs will compete in the Big East Conference beginning in 2013.
"The additions of Hawai`i, San Diego State and now Boise State have presented opportunities for the Big West Conference to further grow its national profile," said Big West Commissioner Dennis Farrell. "The establishment of the Big West Basketball Tournament at Anaheim's Honda Center, heightened television exposure and a fortified group of members have positioned the Conference for continued success moving forward."
The Big West Conference is a member of NCAA Division I and includes California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; California State University, Fullerton; California State University, Northridge; Long Beach State University; University of California, Davis; University of California, Irvine; University of California, Riverside; University of California, Santa Barbara; University of Hawai`i, Manoa; and the University of the Pacific. San Diego State University becomes a member effective July 1, 2013. Pacific will no longer be a conference member effective July 1, 2013.
Reaction from San Diego State
SDSU President Dr. Elliot Hirshman: "We are very excited for Boise State to join the Big West Conference. In a time in which conference realignment has taken center stage in college athletics, the Big West Conference has emerged as a strong, stable conference whose members have exceptional athletic and academic programs. With the addition of Boise State, San Diego State and Hawai'i to its strong nucleus, the Big West Conference is poised for further development and prominence."
SDSU Director of Athletics Jim Sterk: "I congratulate (Big West Commissioner) Dennis Farrell, (San Diego State President) Dr. Elliot Hirshman and the Big West Conference Board of Directors on their decision to add Boise State University. With the addition of Boise State, the Big West further enhances its footprint and increases its presence in the west. I am excited for the positive impact to San Diego State and the Big West."
SDSU Men's Basketball Head Coach Steve Fisher: "Boise State will be a great addition to the Big West. They will bring name recognition with all of their sports. They will bring a beautiful state-of-the-art arena to play in, and they will bring a very, very competitive, well-coached basketball team. I am excited for them, ourselves, and the Big West Conference."
SDSU Women's Basketball Head Coach Beth Burns: "I think this is just another piece in the puzzle in what we know is going to be a bigger and better league. There are a lot of great things on the table and this is one more step of ensuring that we are going to have a great opportunity to compete up and down the west coast and put ourselves in the best position possible to get to the NCAA Tournament. I am happy for Boise State. (Boise State's women's basketball team) is a very well-coached team and really well-respected. (BSU women's basketball head coach) Gordy (Presnell) does a terrific job. They have a great venue and a fan base that is second-to-none."