Athletics moves to NCAA Division I, joins Western Athletic Conference

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California Baptist University athletics announced Jan. 13 the acceptance of the invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference as part of a move to NCAA Division I.

Dr. Ronald Ellis, president of CBU, Dr. Micah Parker, director of Athletics, Kent Dacus, vice president for Enrollment and Student Services, and Jeff Hurd, commissioner of the Western Athletic Conference, held a joint news conference regarding the move.

“This is a ‘wow’ day for me,” Ellis said. “When you look at the history of an institution, we can consider these milestones that are accomplished. We are at this moment right now where we need to take the next step.”

Ellis reported that the WAC acceptance will pave the way into CBU becoming a NCAA Division I
university in June 2018.

Hurd said the WAC has been in existence for about 55 years. He noted the WAC brand is filled with superior programs.

“As we continue to grow, we continue to improve as a conference,” Hurd said. “We carry out that brand not just in the conference, but also throughout the rest of the
country as well.”

Talks of the move to the WAC began in the summer of 2016, which led to a campus visit in early September.

Parker said the CBU athletics staff should have an easy transition into the
new conference.

“We have staff who are experienced in Division I,” Parker said. “We are excited about the future of our Events Center and the opportunities for the

Parker said the move  will expose CBU to more prospective student-athletes. Additionally, Hurd said the move adds another presence in Southern California to
represent the WAC.

Parker said the future of CBU athletics and the CBU community looks bright.

“We do not have to add sports with this move,” Parker said. “We are looking to add and improve on our facilities.”

CBU is currently a member of the DII PacWest Conference and will transition in 2018.

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