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Fresno State rests in the heart of Central California's San Joaquin Valley, which is the approximate geographic size of Tennessee and stretches 400 miles from north to south. It is larger than 11 states. The Valley (aka the "New California") is home to nearly 6.5 million people, over 1 million of those currently live in the Fresno metro area. Fresno State serves the Valley as the educational, cultural and entertainment center for its diverse residents.

Fresno State's Department of Athletics offers a broad-based program of 19 sports teams, most of which compete in the Western Athletic Conference and will join the Mountain West Conference on July 1, 2012. At Fresno State, student-athletes will compete at the highest national level, as demonstrated by the school's 2008 NCAA baseball championship. Fresno State has also captured the WAC Commissioner's Cup as the top overall athletics program among its league membership.