Longtime conference rivals Aggies and Spartans will join Nevada in the Mountain West
May 4, 2012
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Mountain West announced today that San José State University and Utah State University have accepted invitations to join the Conference, effective with the 2013-14 academic year. The addition of San José State University and Utah State University on July 1, 2013 will bring the full-time membership of the Mountain West to nine institutions and 10 football-playing members.
"We are pleased to announce the addition of San José State University and Utah State University to the ranks of the Mountain West," said Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson. "As we have developed the strategy for the future of the Conference, the long-standing rivalries with our current members and the fit within our geographic footprint made these two institutions the optimal choices to strengthen our membership and position ourselves for the next steps."
Those next steps include continued consideration of a future association between Conference USA and the Mountain West. The two leagues have synchronized their new membership decisions and are still determining what form the alliance will take.
"Joining the Mountain West in 2013 is an exciting opportunity for San José State University's student-athletes, coaches and our many supporters," SJSU President Mohammad Qayoumi said. "I want to thank everyone who worked hard to make this happen. The Mountain West and San José State are a great match. We are not joining this conference to simply compete. We are joining to win, and to build upon our current record of success reflecting San José State's role as a leader in the classroom, research and athletics."
"This is an exciting moment for Utah State University as the decision renews historic rivalries and places us in a conference that is a model of athletic and academic success," said USU president Stan Albrecht. "We are proud to join with this group of high-quality institutions as we continue our very positive upward trajectory. This is a great day for Utah State athletics and for the university as a whole."
"On behalf of the Mountain West Board of Directors, I would like to welcome these two wonderful institutions to the Conference," said UNLV President and MW Board Chair Neal Smatresk. "They clearly enhance the rivalries within the league and strengthen the fabric of our membership. We look forward to having San Jose State and Utah State join us for what promises to be a successful future."
About San José State
Founded in 1857 and with an enrollment of 28,002, San José State is the oldest public institution of higher education in the state of California. Ranked in the top 15 master's-level public universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report, SJSU is also the number one supplier of education, engineering, computer science and business graduates to Silicon Valley, the world's high tech capital. San José provides the sixth-largest media market in the country and is conveniently located midway between San Francisco and Monterey/Carmel.
San José State competes in 16 varsity sports and will be adding a 17th with women's outdoor track in 2013-14. The Spartans have won 10 NCAA Division I team championships and 50 NCAA Division I individual titles. San José State has a winning record in its postseason football history including its most recent bowl victory in the 2006 New Mexico Bowl. Thus far in 2011-12, the Spartans won conference championships in women's swimming and diving, women's golf and men's golf. San Jose State athletes have won seven gold, six silver and six bronze medals in Olympic Games competition.
About Utah State
Utah State, a university with an enrollment of 25,767, was founded in 1888 in Logan, Utah. Identified as the No. 1 public university in the West, and among the top five nationally, on Forbes' list of America's Best College Buys, USU's undergraduate research program is the second oldest in the country after MIT.
Utah State sponsors 16 varsity sports. The Aggies men's basketball program is one of just five schools nationally to record 13 straight 21 wins seasons and has advanced to 13 straight postseasons (8-NCAA, 4-NIT, 1-CIT), which is tied for the 11th-longest active streak in the nation. USU's women's basketball team has advanced to postseason play in each of the last two years, participating in the Women's National Invitational Tournament, while its women's soccer program advanced to its first-ever NCAA Tournament in 2012. Utah State's football team finished the 2012 season in second place in the WAC and played in its first bowl game since 1997 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
About the Mountain West
The Mountain West was founded with eight members in 1998. Five of the original members remain - The United States Air Force Academy, Colorado State University, the University of New Mexico, UNLV and the University of Wyoming. Fresno State and the University of Nevada will join the Mountain West effective July 1, 2012. Also on that date, the University of Hawai`i will become a football-only member of the Conference.