The University of Texas at Arlington has accepted an invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference this summer.
In a statement, WAC Commissioner Brian Thornton said UTA will join the conference effective July 1.
"We are extremely excited to welcome The University of Texas at Arlington to the Western Athletic Conference. UTA will be a great addition to the league,' said Thornton. "UTA brings a stellar academic reputation and commitment to excelling athletically. Our Board of Directors was extremely impressed with UTA's focus on the total student-athlete experience while preparing them for life beyond their time on campus."
UTA sponsors 15 varsity sports, all of which will compete in the WAC. UTA spent the 2012-13 season in the WAC and that year they won the men's cross-country title and shared the regular-season baseball title. As a department, they have won 45 regular season titles and 82 tournament championships since beginning athletics in 1963.
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"We are thrilled to join the Western Athletic Conference and help bolster a league that shares a similar strategic vision, is in the best interest of our student-athletes, and enhances the university's profile," said UTA Director of Athletics Jim Baker. "The WAC's short- and long-term objectives, goals, and overall mission run parallel to UTA's, and we envision this move being advantageous for all parties."
The Mavericks come to the WAC from the Sun Belt Conference and will expand the conference to 15 members for the 2022-23 academic year.
On July 1, the WAC will be made up of eight Texas schools and seven other schools from New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and California. The member institutions will be Abilene Christian, California Baptist, Dixie State (to be renamed Utah Tech University beginning July 1), Grand Canyon, Lamar, New Mexico State, Sam Houston, Seattle, Stephen F. Austin, Tarleton, UTRGV, and Utah Valley. Incarnate Word and Southern Utah will join the league along with UTA on July 1.
"As Mavericks, we pride ourselves on the pursuit of excellence in the classroom and on the playing field," said Teik C. Lim, UTA interim president. "This move expands our geographic footprint to the west coast and creates exciting new competitive opportunities and partnerships for our university and our fellow WAC members. We view this as a win-win for UTA and the WAC, and as a university, we look forward to the change and the challenges ahead."