The rumors have been swirling that the WAC was in talks with Incarnate Word for some time. And on Friday morning, it became official.
WAC commissioner Jeff Hurd announced that the University of Incarnate Word will join the WAC in July, 2022.
“UIW brings a stellar academic reputation, a balanced athletics program and a great geographic location to the WAC,” said WAC Commissioner Hurd. “The conference’s Board evaluated every aspect of UIW’s profile and know it is a great fit for the conference now and for years to come.”
Incarnate Word is the largest Catholic university in Texas and fourth largest private university in Texas, according to the release.
“We are excited about the addition of Incarnate Word to the WAC,” said Tarleton State University President Dr. James Hurley. “They bring a rich tradition of academic and athletic excellence. In addition, it expands the WAC’s football footprint in Texas.”
With the announcement, the WAC will have 14 teams in 2022-23 including 8 FCS schools. Incarnate Word joins at the same time as Southern Utah, who officially joined in January, 2021.
The Cardinals will become the only member to sponsor all 20 sports in which the WAC sponsors. UIW has actually been an affiliate member of the WAC in men’s soccer since 2014.
“As we have witnessed over the past several months, division one athletics can be a changing landscape and with that change will come opportunity,” said UIW President Dr. Thomas M. Evans. “The University of the Incarnate Word is committed to prioritizing what is best for our student-athletes and the mission of the university. A move to the WAC at this time puts our student-athletes in the best position to succeed academically and competitively.’
Comments from Other Presidents
GCU President Brian Mueller
“The Western Athletic Conference is determined to be one of the elite mid-major conferences in the country. Incarnate Word is a growing institution in one of the fastest growing markets in the country. This addition solidifies the WAC’s goal to be one of the nation’s strongest FCS football conferences.”
UVU President Astrid Tuminez
“I am delighted to have UIW in the WAC. Dr. Thomas Evans and his team bring aspiration, energy, and dynamism that align with all the members of the conference.”
Statement from UIW Athletic Director Richard Duran
“We are excited to be joining the WAC. This will raise the profile of all our sports teams and give our student-athletes a chance to compete on a different level. We consistently ask our students to be champions in the classroom, the community and in competition. This move will provide them the opportunity to do just that.”