Sept. 1, 2010
SAN BRUNO, Calif. - The West Coast Conference announced today that Brigham Young University has formally accepted an invitation to join the WCC with competition to begin in the 2011-12 academic year.
"The West Coast Conference is excited to welcome Brigham Young University as our ninth member institution," University of Portland President and WCC Presidents' Council Chair Rev. E. William Beauchamp said. "In BYU, we are adding a private, faith-based institution with a strong academic reputation and tradition of excellence in athletics. We feel they will be a good athletic fit with our programs that are annually challenging for post-season appearances and national championships. We are looking forward to working with BYU in the months and years ahead."
"We're grateful and honored to accept this invitation from the West Coast Conference," said BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson. "We are pleased to be associating with a group of fellow private, faith-based institutions with whom we also share strong academics. We admire the collegiality and stability this conference enjoys and look forward to competing with them."
Brigham Young University brings to the West Coast Conference a track record of success in academics and athletics. BYU has been consistently recognized as one of the top-rated academic institutions in the nation and is home to an athletic program that has enjoyed success at both the conference and national levels.
"Loyola Marymount enthusiastically welcomes Brigham Young University into the West Coast Conference," said LMU President David Burcham. "BYU strengthens the WCC competitively, and BYU's commitment to academic excellence mirrors the commitment of the other WCC member institutions."
LMU Athletic Director Dr. William Husak added, "The West Coast Conference has kept its eye on the changing landscape of collegiate athletics and has evaluated opportunities for expansion. Brigham Young University brings a rich athletic tradition to the West Coast Conference. Our staff, coaches and athletes are excited by the challenge to compete against another quality program within the WCC which already is home to so many outstanding teams, coaches and universities."
BYU, which will become an independent in FBS football, will compete in the West Coast Conference in baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, women's soccer, men's and women's tennis and women's volleyball.
"This is an historic day for the West Coast Conference," WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich said. "The addition of Brigham Young University adds to our membership another private, faith-based institution, which shares the common bond of an aligned emphasis on combining excellence in academics with excellence in athletics. We look forward to welcoming the Cougars to the WCC for the 2011-12 academic year."
The West Coast Conference was founded in 1952 to provide a venue for five San Francisco Bay Area schools to compete in basketball. Three of the conference's current institutions - Saint Mary's College, University of San Francisco and Santa Clara University - have been in the West Coast Conference since the outset and both Loyola Marymount University and Pepperdine University have been members of the WCC since 1955.
This is the first time the West Coast Conference has formally invited an institution as a full member since Gonzaga University and the University of San Diego began competing in the WCC in 1979.
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