Fresno State Officially Joins Mountain West
By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
FRESNO, Calif. - From its inception in 1999, the Mountain West has been committed to excellence in intercollegiate athletics, while promoting the academic missions of its member institutions.
On Sunday, July 1, Fresno State officially became a member of the Mountain West, paving the way for new and enhanced opportunities for both Fresno State Athletics and the University as a whole. Nevada (all sports) and Hawai'i (football only) also join Fresno State Sunday as the newest institutions of the now 10-member conference.
"We are very enthusiastic about entering into the Mountain West as both our academic and athletic programs stand to benefit from our new relationships," said Fresno State President John D. Welty. "We look forward to renewing rivalries with several of the schools that we enjoyed previously and now look forward to the next chapter."
Progressive in its approach, the MW continues to cultivate opportunities for student-athletes to compete at the highest level, while fostering academic achievement and sportsmanship.
With a strong history on its side, Fresno State promises to add even more success to the league that sports three NCAA team championships, 32 NCAA individual champions and sports 125 Academic All-America selections. The Bulldogs have had 46 Academic All-Americans and won two team NCAA Championships (softball 1998; baseball 2008) in school history.
"We're excited to officially start our association with the schools in the Mountain West," Director of Athletics Thomas Boeh said. "I think the Mountain West from its inception has had exceptional competition and we fully anticipate for that tradition to continue. We expect Fresno State to be one of those teams."
Fresno State features all 18 sports that are sponsored by the Mountain West. Only the Bulldog lacrosse (Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) and equestrian (National Collegiate Equestrian Association) programs will not be under the Mountain West umbrella.
"We hold great respect for the schools in the conference, have rivalries from the past and are excited to renew competition against those institutions," Boeh said. "The capacity that the Mountain West has to generate revenue as a league is greater and we expect in the future that we will be able to reap the benefits."
The Mountain West is noted for its geographic diversity. Some of the most beautiful terrain and landscapes in the nation can be found within Mountain West boundaries, including the majestic Rocky Mountain range, which borders four MW institutions (Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State and New Mexico). The high plains of Wyoming (elevation 7,220 feet - the highest Division I campus in the nation) contrast with the desert cities of Las Vegas and Reno, home to UNLV and Nevada, while Fresno State and San Diego State add a West coast influence with their locations in Central and Southern California. The inclusion of the Hawai`i football program extends the Mountain West footprint to the beautiful islands in the Pacific Ocean.
Fresno State's first-ever Mountain West league game lies on Sept. 20 when the volleyball team plays Boise State at 6 p.m. PT in Boise, Idaho.
Quotes from Bulldog coaches on joining the Mountain West...
Mike Batesole, Head Baseball Coach
Tim DeRuyter, Head Football Coach
Trisha Ford, Head Softball Coach
Lauren Netherby-Sewell, Head Volleyball Coach
Raegan Pebley, Head Women's Basketball Coach
Rodney Terry, Head Men's Basketball Coach
"Discover Fresno State Football" - The Bulldogs are looking to pack Bulldog Stadium Sept. 1 in their home opener against Weber State. Tickets are moving fast, join the excitement of the Red Wave now by calling 559-278-DOGS!