Texas-Pan American joins WACBy The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Thu, Dec 20, 2012 6:00 PM EST
The Western Athletic Conference will add the University of Texas-Pan American as its eighth member for the 2013-14 school season, the organization announced Thursday. The Broncos follow new members Chicago State, Grand Canyon University, Seattle and Cal-Bakersfield to the reformed Division I conference. The league will also include University of Idaho; New Mexico State University; and Utah Valley University. The WAC lost its status as a Football Bowl Subdivision conference for 2013, stung by a mass exodus which included Fresno State and Boise State, formerly two of that league's top powers. "The addition of The University of Texas-Pan American adds another important piece to the rebuilding of the Western Athletic Conference," WAC Interim Commissioner Jeff Hurd said in a statement. "UTPA brings a program with 60 years of history and success, and we look forward to the Broncs competing at a high level in the WAC." UT-Pan American participated in the Great West Conference along with Chicago State and Utah Valley State, two other new WAC members. Pan Am will compete in 14 sports, including men's and women's basketball. UT-Pan Am athletic director Chris King said this was "defining moment" for his university. "We have been working hard for the last few years to transform this department into one that is no longer content with simply being at the Division I level, but instead has a strong group of student-athletes and coaches who can help us compete for championships while excelling in the classroom and the community," King said in a statement. "This is another step in that transformation process. "Aligning ourselves with a nationally recognized and well-branded conference such as the WAC will allow us to gain national exposure for both UTPA and the entire Rio Grande Valley."
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