Seattle University will become the newest member of the Western Athletic Conference on July 1, 2012.
With the addition, the WAC will consist of nine full-time members for the 2012-13 season: Denver (non-football), Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Seattle (non-football), Texas State, UTSA and Utah State.
“Seattle’s tradition and history, along with a strong commitment to academics, its athletics program and facilities make the university and its top-15 media market a great fit for the WAC,” said Commissioner Karl Benson.
Currently an independent, Seattle is a private institution founded in 1891 with an enrollment of 7,751. The Redhawks sponsor 19 sports, 17 of which will compete in the WAC (men’s and women’s cross country, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, men’s and women’s basketball, softball, baseball, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s tennis).
The two sports sponsored by Seattle but not by the WAC, men’s soccer and men’s swimming, will remain in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
The Redhawks were a Division I team from 1950 to 1980, and its men’s basketball team advanced to the NCAA title game in 1958 led by Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor. Seattle began the reclassification process back to Division I in 2009 after having been a Division II member. Seattle heads into year four of the Division I reclassification process this fall, the final year before gaining full Division I membership in 2012-13.