San Diego State athletic department
announced Wednesday that the school will remain in the Mountain West for all of its sports which the league sponsors.
The Aztecs are one of six schools who have been with the Mountain West since its inception in 1999, joining Air Force, Colorado State, New Mexico, UNLV and Wyoming. As a charter member, SDSU will continue its storied rivalries with the other original five members, and renew them with recent additions Boise State, Fresno State, Hawai'i (football only) and Nevada, and newcomers San Jose State and Utah State.
San Diego State University President Dr. Elliot Hirshman and San Diego State University Director of Athletics Jim Sterk released the following joint statement:
"After substantial discussion and consideration of a broad range of factors, San Diego State University will be continuing as a full member of the Mountain West Conference in July 2013. We have the deepest respect for our colleagues in the Mountain West, BIG EAST and Big West conferences with whom we have worked collaboratively during the period of conference realignment. We are optimistic about the future of San Diego State University's athletic programs and the prospect of building on our university's rich tradition of intercollegiate athletics."
Under the new agreement San Diego State signed with the Mountain West, the Aztecs will receive their revenue from the 2012-13 season. Part of that revenue will be used to pay SDSU's exit fee from the Big West Conference. The Aztecs will not have to pay a BIG EAST exit fee, thanks to a clause in their initial agreement that SDSU wouldn't be bound to the conference if there wasn't another team west of the Rocky Mountains.
San Diego State is coming off its most successful fall season in school history. The football team went 7-1 in Mountain West play and won its first conference title since 1998, while advancing to a bowl game for the third consecutive season for the first time in program history. As a department, the Aztecs won four of the possible five trophies the Mountain West handed out, including a football regular season conference title, a women's soccer regular season and tournament title, and a volleyball regular season title.
In the 2012 calendar year alone, SDSU captured nine MW championships in seven sports with the four aforementioned along with women's basketball (regular season and tournament), men's basketball (regular season), men's golf and softball. Three teams finished ranked among the top 10 nationally.
"Our 2012 year was a memorable one with nine championship trophies and numerous coach-of-the-year awards," Sterk said. "This year looks to be equally as competitive and successful as last year."
Prior to the Mountain West, San Diego State was a member of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) from 1978-99.
"As a charter member of the Mountain West, San Diego State has decades of history and tremendous competitive rivalries with our member institutions," Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson said. "With today's announcement, SDSU's membership continues uninterrupted and helps the Mountain West maintain a solid foundation going forward. The Aztecs remain a perfect fit geographically and provide the Conference with a highly-competitive athletics program that includes a Top 25 men's basketball team, a 2012 MW tri-champion in football and several other league championship-caliber programs."