Diving Into The WAC
May 16, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV men's swimming and diving team is pleased to announce that the Rebels are making the move from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation to the Western Athletic Conference beginning in the 2013-14 season, as the WAC announced on Thursday that it would be adding the sport of men's swimming to the conference.
UNLV spent the past two seasons in the MPSF after the Mountain West discontinued sponsorship of the sport, and were the MPSF champions this past season, the eighth overall conference championship in the last nine years for the Rebels. Looking to find a situation in which the Rebels would not be forced to split coaching staffs during the conference championship meet season, the move to the WAC offers that benefit for not only UNLV but also Air Force and Wyoming, which are joining the Rebels in making the switch. The 2014 championship meet for the WAC will be held on Feb. 26-March 1 at the Palo Alto College Aquatic Center in San Antonio, Texas, exactly one week after the Mountain West Women's Swimming Championships will be held at the same site.
"We're excited to be moving to a new conference for our men's program, especially in terms of talking about the conference championship meet, with Palo Alto being a fast and outstanding venue," said UNLV Head Men's Swimming Coach Jim Reitz. "It's also important to our program to have our men's league meet in the same location as our women, while the competition we'll face will be at least equal if not better then the past two seasons. I'm also happy to have Air Force and Wyoming make the move with us. They have been competitive rivals for our team since the beginning of the MW, and I'm glad to see that continue into the WAC."
Next year's WAC membership includes three full-time members that sponsor men's swimming and diving; CSU Bakersfield, Grand Canyon and Seattle. Joining these schools will be affiliate members Air Force, UNLV, North Dakota and Wyoming giving the WAC seven teams in 2013-14. North Dakota is already a women's swimming and diving affiliate member.
"We are excited about the reinstatement of men's swimming and diving to the Western Athletic Conference," said Jeff Hurd, WAC Interim Commissioner. "We look forward to one of our original sports returning to the WAC and watching these teams work toward winning a conference championship."
This will be the second time that the WAC has sponsored men's swimming and diving as the sport was part of the conference from its inaugural 1962-63 season through 1999-2000. Three of the programs joining the WAC this upcoming year competed previously in the conference. Wyoming was an original member during all but one of those years while Air Force was added in 1980 and UNLV joined in 1996.