UH Warrior football to join Mountain West, other teams to join Big West

University of Hawaiʻi
Tina Shelton, (808) 554-2586
External Affairs and University Relations
Derek Inouchi, (808) 954-0234
Sports Media Relations
Posted: Dec 10, 2010

Big West Commissioner Dennis Farrell, Jim Donovan, Howard Karr, Virginia Hinshaw & M.R.C. Greenwood
Big West Commissioner Dennis Farrell, Jim Donovan, Howard Karr, Virginia Hinshaw & M.R.C. Greenwood
HONOLULU - The University of Hawai‘i announced today that its sports teams have joined the Big West Conference (BWC) and the Mountain West Conference (MWC) beginning with the 2012-13 season.
The Warrior football team will become the tenth member of the MWC. UH’s other sports programs, with the exception of sailing, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s volleyball, will join the BWC.
The invitation from the MWC came in a telephone call early this morning to UH President M.R.C. Greenwood from Commissioner Craig Thompson.
“The Mountain West Conference is very pleased to gain the University of Hawai‘i as a football-only member beginning with the 2012 season,” said Thompson. “Hawai‘i’s outstanding football program and television value fit perfectly with the MWC’s strategic initiatives for the future direction of the conference. We look forward to adding the Warriors to the MWC family.”
Dr. Michael Drake, chancellor of the University of California, Irvine and chair of the Big West Board of Directors made the announcement. “We are excited and pleased with the addition of Hawai‘i to the Big West Conference. In assessing Hawai‘i, the Board carefully considered and was impressed by both its legacy of athletic success and its commitment to academic excellence.”
Big West Commissioner Dennis Farrell flew to Hawai‘i to take part in the Big West Conference announcement.
“It is a tremendous day for the Big West Conference. I am personally thrilled because I remember well the participation of the University of Hawai‘i’s women’s sports teams in the past and really look forward to the revival of that competition,” said Farrell.
“We are delighted that the Mountain West Conference and the Big West Conference have formally invited our teams to be a part of their exciting and innovative conferences,” said Greenwood. “We are so pleased that the discussions we announced were underway last month have now led to this pivotal step today.
“The people of Hawai‘i deserve a first-rate athletics program,” Greenwood continued. “We have been overjoyed by the positive reaction our wonderful citizens have had to this possibility. Now that the invitations are official, we are even more delighted. We believe joining the Mountain West Conference will bring much joy to our football fans as well as contribute to the successful future that, by working together, we all seek to enhance at the University of Hawai‘i.”
“This is a historic day in UH Athletics,” said UH Athletics Director Jim Donovan. “As much as we have enjoyed our 31-year relationship with the Western Athletic Conference, this hybrid arrangement will allow us to continue traditional rivalries that our fans have grown to enjoy, and keep a footprint in the Western United States, where much of our recruiting base lies.”
“We are proud to see the University of Hawai‘i advancing in all aspects of campus life, and campus life most definitely includes athletics,” said Howard Karr, chair of the University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents.
UH’s women’s teams were members of the Big West from 1984 to 1996.
The announcement at Bachman Hall was also attended by University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw, Head Football Coach Greg McMackin and other UH head coaches.