UT Arlington Accepts Invitation to Join Western Athletic Conference
By UT Arlington Athletics Communications
Posted on January 21, 2022, January 21, 2022

UT Arlington, Western Athletic Conference

Western Athletic Conference Commissioner Brian Thornton announced Friday, Jan. 21, 2022 a membership invitation issued by the conference's Board of Directors to University of Texas at Arlington has been accepted effective July 1, 2022.

"We are thrilled to join the Western Athletic Conference and help bolster a league that shares a similar strategic vision, is in the best interest of our student-athletes and enhances the university's profile," said Jim Baker, UTA Director of Athletics. "The WAC's short- and long-term objectives, goals and overall mission run parallel to UTA's, and we envision this move being advantageous for all parties."

"We are extremely excited to welcome The University of Texas at Arlington to the Western Athletic Conference. UTA will be a great addition to the league,' said Thornton. "UTA brings a stellar academic reputation and commitment to excelling athletically. Our Board of Directors was extremely impressed with UTA's focus on the total student-athlete experience while preparing them for life beyond their time on campus."

The Mavericks come to the WAC from the Sun Belt Conference and will expand the conference to 15 members for the 2022-23 academic year. This will mark the second tenure in the league for UTA, who was a member of the WAC for the 2012-13 season.

"We are extremely excited that UTA is joining the rejuvenated Western Athletic Conference," said Grand Canyon University President and WAC Board of Directors chair Brian Mueller. "They are bringing their excellent academic reputation as well as their rich athletic tradition to a rapidly expanding mid major conference with huge potential."

Founded in 1895, UTA boasts a fall 2021 global enrollment of 47,093 and is the third-largest producer of college graduates in the state of Texas. Classified as a Research-1: Doctoral University—Very High Research Activity by the Carnegie Foundation, UTA had $120.5 million in research expenditures in the 2020-21 fiscal year. Last year, UTA became just the fourth institution in the state to achieve designation as a Texas Tier One university, a signifier of excellence in academics and research. Centrally located between Dallas (to the east) and Fort Worth (to the west), the institution attracts students from more than 100 countries annually and is designated both as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution.

"As Mavericks, we pride ourselves on the pursuit of excellence in the classroom and on the playing field," said Teik C. Lim, UTA interim president. "This move expands our geographic footprint to the west coast and creates exciting new competitive opportunities and partnerships for our university and our fellow WAC members. We view this as a win-win for UTA and the WAC, and as a university, we look forward to the change and the challenges ahead."

The Mavericks sponsors 15 varsity sports, all of which will compete in the WAC. In their brief time in the WAC, they won the men's cross-country title and shared the regular season baseball title. As a department, they have won 45 regular season titles and 82 tournament championships since beginning athletics in 1963.

UTA will join the WAC at the same time as University of the Incarnate Word and Southern Utah University.

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