Chicago State University Joins Western Athletic Conference
CHICAGO (December 5, 2012) - Chicago State University President Dr. Wayne D. Watson,
along with the Western Athletic Conference, announced Wednesday (Dec. 5) that Chicago
State has accepted a formal invitation to join the WAC as an all-sports member. The
Cougars' membership in the WAC will take effect July 1, 2013, and Chicago State will
begin athletic competition in the conference next fall at the start of the 2013-14
"Chicago State is taking a bold and ambitious step by joining the Western Athletic
Conference," Dr. Watson said. "Now our student-athletes will be featured in several
of the nation's largest media footprints in intercollegiate athletics, reaching tens
of millions of households. This is great for our university and our fans. It is great
The Western Athletic Conference is in its 51st year of existence after establishment
in 1962. The current 2013-14 WAC landscape includes California State University Bakersfield,
University of Idaho, Grand Canyon University, New Mexico State University, Seattle
University, and Utah Valley University.
"We are pleased to welcome Chicago State University to the WAC family," said WAC Interim
Commissioner Jeff Hurd. "As the Western Athletic Conference continues to evolve, we
look forward to their contributions, including the addition of another large media
market to our league. We are also thrilled to be able to provide Chicago State with
many more championship opportunities for their student-athletes."
The announcement gives all 14 Chicago State University sports programs access to conference
championship events in 2013-14 and automatic qualifier spots for NCAA Championships,
making it easier for Chicago State teams to qualify for the NCAA postseason.
"This is one of the most important days in the history of the athletic department,"
Chicago State Athletic Director Dan Schumacher said. "No longer will our coaches have
to recruit and compete without the chance of an automatic qualifier to NCAA Championships
at the end of the season."
Chicago State will add men and women's soccer as part of the agreement to join the
WAC. Those teams must take the field by fall of 2014.
"This announcement will allow the department to move forward with future facility
upgrades, fundraising efforts and student-athlete support initiatives," Schumacher
said. "The WAC will enable us to reach our goal of being champions in the classroom,
in competition and in the community."
Joining the WAC is the latest in a string of achievements since Schumacher became
Chicago State Athletic Director last June. Since Schumacher's hiring, the Cougars
have broken ground on a $2.5 million baseball stadium, signed a television contact
with Lakeshore Public Television and redesigned www.GoCSUCougars.com.
"When you look at some of the cities included in the WAC – Seattle, Phoenix, Salt
Lake, and now Chicago – we're going to be a league with significant media markets
as well as schools with a great history in the WAC," Schumacher said. "Prospective
Chicagoland student-athletes can come to CSU and play in front of their friends and
family while still having a national, big-time NCAA Division I experience."
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