The Big West will expand from nine to 11 members in 2020, the conference announced today, with the inclusions of Cal State Bakersfield and UC San Diego.
Bakersfield is currently a member of the Western Athletic Conference and UC San Diego is a Division II program that desires to make the transition to Division I.
They will both join the Big West on July 1, 2020, and compete in the conference beginning with the 2020-21 athletic calendar. The UCSD Tritons will begin a four-year reclassification period in 2020 and become a full-fledged D-I member (and a full member of the Big West) in 2024.
“The addition of these two outstanding universities will further strengthen the Big West’s position as the preeminent NCAA Division I public university conference for the states of California and Hawaii,” commissioner Dennis Farrell said in a release. “The 2018-19 academic year marks the 50th anniversary of the Big West Conference and this membership development positions the conference to continue growing and thriving for the next 50 years.”
The University of Hawaii competes in the Big West in a majority of its sports, with the primary exception being football (Mountain West).
CSUB and UCSD will become the first schools to join the BWC since Hawaii in 2012. UH’s inclusion made it a 10-team league, but Pacific departed the conference in 2013, dropping it back to nine.
The Bakersfield Roadrunners will compete in the Big West in: men’s and women’s basketball; baseball; women’s cross country; women’s golf; men’s and women’s soccer; softball; men’s and women’s track and field; women’s volleyball; and beach volleyball.
The UCSD Tritons will field D-I teams in: men’s and women’s basketball; baseball; men’s and women’s cross country; men’s golf; men’s and women’s soccer; softball; men’s and women’s tennis; men’s and women’s track and field; men’s and women’s volleyball; and women’s water polo.