The University of the Incarnate Word announced Nov. 12 that it accepted an invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference effective July 1.
In a news release, UIW President Thomas Evans said a move from the Southland Conference to the WAC puts Incarnate Word’s student-athletes in a prime position to succeed academically and competitively.
“We want to thank the WAC board of directors, Commissioner Jeff Hurd and all the member institutions for the opportunity to join this prestigious league, and we look forward to working with them to maintain and strengthen the level of sportsmanship and competition for which the WAC is known,” Evans said in the release.
With the addition of UIW, the WAC will consist of 14 schools competing in 20 different men’s and women’s sports, including eight teams that will compete in football at the Football Championship Subdivision level, according to the release.
UIW currently has 23 men’s and women’s teams competing in 14 different sports.
UIW's announcement is among a slate of moves that several colleges and universities nationwide have been making from one athletic conference to another. University of Texas at San Antonio recently announced it was jumping from Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference.
The conference is beginning its 60th year of intercollegiate competition, and in August 2021 the WAC entered into a new media rights agreement with ESPN, the release stated.
Under that agreement, more than 500 live WAC games and events, including football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, swimming and diving, track and field, softball and baseball will be available to watch on ESPN+.
Additionally, ESPN will produce the men’s and women’s basketball championship games, the release stated.
“UIW brings a stellar reputation, a balanced athletics program and a great geographic location to the WAC,” Hurd said in the release. "The conference’s board evaluated every aspect of UIW’s profile, and know it is a great fit for the conference now and for years to come.”