Conference affiliation: the next step
Reading Time: 2 minutes In a press conference held in the McKay Center on Thursday afternoon, UVU Director of Athletics Mike Jacobsen announced that UVU would be joining the Great West Conference. The announcement marks just how far the athletic program has come since competing at the junior college level six years ago.
For those familiar with UVU, it’s hard to believe just how far it has come. Less than a decade ago, UVU was a junior college competing against teams from Snow College, Dixie State and CEU. Not being satisfied with JUCO status, the powers that be decided to make the transition to compete at the Division I level and eventually join the NCAA.
For a junior college to make the transformation is a tough process, and there are usually many hang ups along the way. Most schools making the switch choose to spend a few years competing at the Division II level. The fact that UVU went straight to D-I is impressive enough, but include victories over schools from the Pac-10, WAC and Mountain West, and it’s down right amazing.
Joining the Great West is a superb first step for the Wolverines, but it’ll hardly be a stepping-stone on the path to bigger and better things. UVU signed a three-year contract to stay in the Great West and has every intention of honoring its commitment. However, as opportunities present themselves, Director of Athletics Mike Jacobsen is keeping his options open.
“We’re still doing something almost every day with the different western conferences to make sure they remain aware of us,” Jacobsen said. “We’re taking it one year at a time, and we’re excited to be a part of it.”
When you consider where UVU was just a few years ago, it’s expected that Utah Valley will continue to evolve athletically. Is it that far-fetched to believe the Wolverines could land themselves in a more illustrious conference in a few years?
Maybe UVU isn’t quite at the level of BYU or Utah, but for those who have seen the strides Utah Valley has made in the last few years, it’s fantastic to be a part of a university that isn’t afraid to move forward and continually improve itself.