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The Great West Conference is a NCAA college athletic conference. Formerly a football-only conference, in 2008 it became an all-sports conference. It is a member of the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA).

History, Background and Reorganization

Cal Polymarker, North Dakota Statemarker, Northern Coloradomarker, South Dakota Statemarker, Southern Utahmarker, and UC Davismarker began conference play in the Great West Football Conference in 2004. St. Mary's was slated to join the conference, but dropped football prior to the 2004 season. In 2005 Cal Poly was the conference's first participant in the NCAA Div. I-AA (now FCS) playoffs.

Northern Coloradomarker left the GWFC to join the Big Sky Conference for all sports for the 2006 season. On March 7, 2007, North Dakota State and South Dakota State announced that they would leave the conference after the 2007 season and join the Gateway Football Conference in 2008; by the time the two schools joined, the Gateway Conference renamed itself the Missouri Valley Football Conference. On August 2, 2007 the University of North Dakota and the University of South Dakota announced that they would be joining the Great West Conference in 2008.

On July 10, 2008 it was made official in press conferences that the conference would change from a football only conference into an all sports conference. The charter members of the all-sports conference include North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah Valley Universitymarker, Houston Baptist, Texas-Pan Americanmarker, and NJITmarker. Chicago Statemarker joined the conference October 22, and these new schools will begin all-sports conference play in 2009–2010. Seattle University is considering membership.

The all-sports version of the Great West officially began conference play in a limited number of sports during the fall sports season of 2008. During the 2008-09 academic year, the Great West will award championships in Cross Country, Indoor Track & Field, Outdoor Track Field, Golf, and Tennis. Full conference play among all sponsored team and individual sports will begin with the 2009-10 academic year. Despite not playing a conference schedule in team sports, the league began to award "Player of the Week" honors to student-athletes in all sports in the 2008-09 year.

The conference currently does not have an automatic bid to NCAA post-season tournaments but the Great West Conference men's basketball tournament champion has an automatic bid to CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT).

Members

Current

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Joined Nickname
Chicago State Universitymarker Chicago, Illinoismarker 1867 Public 7,131 2008 Cougars
Houston Baptist University Houston, Texasmarker 1960 Private 3,100 2008 Huskies
New Jersey Institute of Technologymarker Newark, New Jerseymarker 1881 Public 5,263 2008 Highlanders
University of North Dakota Grand Forks, North Dakotamarker 1883 Public 12,834 2008 Fighting Sioux
University of South Dakota Vermillion, South Dakotamarker 1862 Public 8,241 2008 Coyotes
University of Texas-Pan Americanmarker Edinburg, Texasmarker 1927 Public 17,048 2008 Broncs
Utah Valley Universitymarker Orem, Utahmarker 1941 Public 24,487 2008 Wolverines


South Dakota will join the Summit League in 2011

Affiliates

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Joined Nickname Primary Conference Sport
Cal Polytechnic State Universitymarker San Luis Obispo, CAmarker 1901 Public 18,722 2004 Mustangs Big West Conference Football
Delaware State University Dover, DEmarker 1891 Public 3,756 2009 Hornets Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Soccer
Howard Universitymarker Washington, DCmarker 1867 Private 10,991 2009 Bison Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Soccer
New York Institute of Technologymarker Old Westbury, NYmarker 1955 Private 12,755 2009 Bears East Coast Conference Baseball
University of Northern Coloradomarker Greeley, COmarker 1889 Public 12,981 2009 Bears Big Sky Conference Baseball
Seattle Universitymarker Seattle, WAmarker 1891 Private 7,717 2009 Redhawks Independent Cross Country, Track & Field
South Carolina State Universitymarker Orangeburg, SCmarker 1896 Public 5,411 2009 Bulldogs Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Soccer
Southern Utah Universitymarker Cedar City, UTmarker 1897 Public 7,509 2004 Thunderbirds The Summit League Football
University of California, Davismarker Davis, CAmarker 1905 Public 27,530 2004 Aggies Big West Conference Football


Former members



Locations of current Great West Conference full member institutions.


Football Champions

Season Champion Record
2004 Cal Poly 4–1
2005 Cal Poly & UC Davis 4–1
2006 North Dakota State 4–0
2007 South Dakota State 4–0
2008 Cal Poly 3–0
2009 UC Davis 3–1


Conference facilities

School Football Stadium Capacity Basketball arena Capacity
Cal Poly Alex G.marker Spanos Stadiummarker 11,075 Does not participate in Great West
Chicago State Does not sponsor football Emil and Patricia Jones Convocation Centermarker 7,000
Houston Baptist Does not sponsor football Sharp Gymnasiummarker 1,500
NJIT Does not sponsor football Fleisher Centermarker 1,500
North Dakota Alerus Centermarker 13,500 Betty Engelstad Sioux Centermarker 3,300
South Dakota DakotaDomemarker 10,000 DakotaDomemarker 10,000
Southern Utah Eccles Coliseummarker 8,500 Does not participate in Great West
Texas-Pan American Does not sponsor football UTPA Fieldhousemarker 4,000
UC Davis Aggie Stadiummarker 10,367 Does not participate in Great West
Utah Valley Does not sponsor football McKay Centermarker 8,500


Notes

  1. http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,700241969,00.html New Great West Conference
  2. Deseret News | UVU joins new sports conference
  3. http://www.argusleader.com/article/20090415/UPDATES/90415031/1001/NEWS


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