FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
DENVER, CO – The Western Athletic Conference announced today that an invitation for affiliate membership has been issued to and accepted by Northern Colorado to join the conference in baseball starting with the 2013-14 academic year.
“We are pleased to announce the addition of Northern Colorado to the WAC baseball family,” said WAC Interim Commissioner Jeff Hurd. “UNC will be a great fit with the other baseball teams in the league. We expect that they will match up well both competitively and geographically.”
Northern Colorado baseball can be traced back to 1895 when the university was named State Normal School. The Bears were part of the Rocky Mountain Conference (which became the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in 1969) until 1972 when the team joined the Great Plains Athletic Conference (1973-76). In 1991, the team officially became part of the Division II North Central Conference until 2003, when the team began its reclassification back to Division I. The Bears have made 10 Division I College World Series appearances. UNC has made 20 Division I regional appearances.
“Today is certainly a great day for Northern Colorado baseball,” Director of Athletics Jay Hinrichs said. “I am so very pleased to announce on behalf of the student-athletes, coaches and support staff to Bears everywhere that we have a new conference home in the WAC. We are very excited to take this next step for our historic baseball program as we continue to work very hard to make the program more successful with the goal of winning a WAC Championship and participation in the NCAA post-season championships.”
Northern Colorado is coached by Carl Iwasaki who has been with the program since 2011. Iwasaki has compiled a 51-65 record while at UNC. Last year, Iwasaki led his team to a 27-33 record and a fourth place finish at the Great West Conference Tournament.
“This is a great day for current Northern Colorado baseball players, alumni and the community of Greeley,” Head Baseball Coach Carl Iwasaki said. “I would like to thank President Norton and Jay Hinrichs for their commitment, support and vision for the future of Division I college baseball in the state of Colorado. Also, thanks to Commissioner Jeff Hurd for the opportunity to join the WAC baseball conference which is rich in tradition and has enjoyed national success.”
The addition will give the WAC a total of eight teams for baseball as the Bears will join CSU Bakersfield, Chicago State, Grand Canyon, New Mexico State, Sacramento State, Seattle U and Utah Valley in 2014.