BYU softball will join the Western Athletic conference beginning the 2011-12 season.
PROVO -- Brigham Young University and the Western Athletic Conference today announced that BYU will join the WAC for softball beginning with the 2011-12 athletic season.
On Sept. 1, 2010, BYU announced its football program would go independent and the Cougars would join the West Coast Conference in the majority of its other sports. Because the WCC does not sponsor softball, the BYU athletic administration has been actively exploring other options for conference affiliation.
“As a softball program, we are excited to compete in the WAC," said BYU head softball coach Gordon Eakin. “It has been a nationally competitive league, and we are looking forward to contributing to the success of the conference.”
The Cougars are coming off the most successful season in school history and are ranked No. 16 heading into 2011. BYU claimed its second-straight conference title in 2010, finishing the season ranked No. 15 with a 46-13 record—the most wins in program history.
“Our softball program has been very successful under the direction of Coach Eakin,” said BYU director of athletics Tom Holmoe. “Last spring the team advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time in school history, and we are excited about the future of the program. Commissioner Karl Benson and his staff have been very accommodating and we look forward to having our softball program compete in the WAC.”
Beginning with the 2012 softball season, BYU will compete in the WAC against seven other schools including Fresno State, Hawai’i, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, New Mexico State, San Jose State and Utah State.
“The WAC looks forward to working with BYU and its softball program and expects this partnership to be a 'win-win' for all involved, especially all of our student-athletes,” Benson said.
BYU was a founding member of the WAC in July 1962. The Cougars competed in the conference for 37 years before joining the Mountain West Conference in July 1999. Currently, the WAC crowns team and individual champions in 19 sports—eight men’s and 11 women’s.