Sam Houston State University joins Western Athletic Conference

SHSU and four other schools will join the conference on July 1, 2022
Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 11:55 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 14, 2021 at 9:47 PM CST
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HOUSTON, Texas (KBTX) - Sam Houston State University has officially accepted their invitation into the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).

At a press conference on Thursday, WAC commissioner Jeff Hurd announced that five universities will join the conference on July 1, 2022; Sam Houston State University, Abilene Christian University, Lamar University, Stephen F. Austin State University and Utah University.

“I cannot overstate my level of excitement in making this expansion announcement,” said Hurd, “The opportunity to bring five quality institutions into the conference, to significantly strengthen the WAC’s national basketball brand and other championship sport profiles, and to bring football back under the WAC umbrella is one that made sense.”

Thursday’s announcement also brought news of bringing football back to the WAC, which will bring a total of 20 sports into the conference. The announcement was made in Houston, showing the future site of the Battle of Piney Woods, an annual football game between Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin.

WAC will be a 13-team conference that will be split in two divisions for team sports other that football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball. One division will feature the Texas schools including, SHSU, Tarleton State University, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Abilene Christian University, Lamar University and Stephen F. Austin State University.

The new members, along with Dixie State and Tarleton, will give the WAC seven full-time members that play in, or are transitioning to, the Football Championship Subdivision. It is anticipated that at least one more football-playing member will be added, but a timetable has not yet been established.

WAC membership announcment

WATCH NOW: Sam Houston State is expected to join the Western Athletic Conference, WAC conference commissioner Jeff Hurd is making the announcement.

Posted by KBTX Media on Thursday, January 14, 2021

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