DENVER – Highlighted by the approval of transitioning institutions to participate in all Conference Championships, the Western Athletic Conference Board of Directors elected its 2022-23 Executive Committee and approved several items for the upcoming academic year and beyond.
Following a letter to the NCAA last month that supported Tarleton State University and Utah Tech University in petitioning for access to the WAC’s automatic qualification for national championships, the WAC board strengthened its commitment to those institutions by including them in all future championships.
“It was important for our Board of Directors to show Tarleton and Utah Tech that the conference is committed to their cause,” said WAC Commissioner Brian Thornton. “The inclusion of the Texans and Trailblazers in all championships not only strengthens our league as a whole but provides a large group of student-athletes with a proper end-of-season experience.”
The board also voiced support for a new External Committee, made up of league athletic directors and administrators that have oversight of marketing and external relations. This group will help guide the strategic visioning of the league moving forward.
Also approved was a strategic plan for men’s and women’s basketball that implements innovative scheduling, both in and out of conference play, as well as an 18-game conference schedule with the goal of enhancing NCAA resumes for postseason selection. The board also approved expanding both conference tournaments to 12 teams. Opening round games will be played on March 6 and 7 at Michelob ULTRA Arena with the tournament moving to Orleans Arena on March 8 through March 11.
It was decided that winning percentage will be used to determine the WAC Champion in the sport of football and the league will work with the ASUN Conference to determine the automatic qualifier for the FCS Playoffs as announced last month. Finally, the 2023 WAC Swimming and Diving Championship was officially awarded to the City of Pharr and UTRGV Aquatic Facility and New Mexico State University was approved as an affiliate member in the sport of women’s swimming and diving beginning in 2023-24.
Utah Valley University President Dr. Astrid Tuminez will serve as Chair of the Executive Committee, while California Baptist University President Dr. Ron Ellis was elected as Vice Chair. Tarleton State University President Dr. James Hurley will remain on the Executive Committee as Past Chair.