SDSU Water Polo to Move into Golden Coast Conference
June 3, 2013
LOS ANGELES - San Diego State and six other universities from the state of California have agreed to form a new collegiate women's water polo conference that will begin competition in the spring of 2014. The new league, which will be called the Golden Coast Conference, will feature Azusa Pacific University, California Baptist University, Fresno Pacific University, Loyola Marymount University, Santa Clara University, University of the Pacific and the Aztecs.
"I'm really excited to be a founding member of the Golden Coast Conference," SDSU head coach Carin Crawford said. "The conference is a great mix of universities that have played water polo since the earliest days of NCAA sponsorship in the mid-1990s, and the newest NCAA provisional members.
"The fact that women's water polo is still growing and adding new institutions is great news, and the formation of the Golden Coast Conference is a positive reflection of that growth. The GCC will showcase California teams and give our student-athletes, who are among the most elite in the nation, the opportunity to compete for a conference championship.
"The formation of the Golden Coast Conference is great news both for the sport of women's water polo and for our Aztec Water Polo program," Crawford added. "I am thrilled to be a part of the GCC and very thankful for the efforts of our leaders in making this new conference a reality."
The Golden Coast Conference will begin competition next season and will feature a conference schedule in which each team will play each other once. The final conference standings will then decide seedings for an annual conference championship, which will be held in late April.
The new league will apply for an automatic bid to the National Collegiate Women's Water Polo Championships this summer. In addition, the membership is currently searching for a commissioner and drafting league bylaws.
San Diego State and Pacific are moving from the Big West Conference while LMU and Santa Clara are moving from the Western Water Polo Association. California Baptist just completed its transition to the NCAA and is eligible for championship competition this upcoming 2013-14 season, while Azusa Pacific and Fresno Pacific are making the transition to the NCAA and will be eligible the following season.
SDSU is coming off its eighth-straight year of 20 or more victories after posting a 23-11 record. The 23 wins are its most since 2009 when San Diego State turned in an identical record. The Aztecs were also ranked in the top-8 nationally the entire regular season, twice rose to as high as No. 6 and finished campaign ranked 10th. The Scarlet and Black have finished in the top-11 every year of their existence on Montezuma Mesa, which spans 19 years.