Dixie State To Join WAC, Become FCS Independent In Football

Jan 11, 2019, 4:42 PM
(Dixie State Athletics Twitter)...
(Dixie State Athletics Twitter)
(Dixie State Athletics Twitter)

ST. GEORGE, Utah – Dixie State University announced that they will make the jump from Division II to Division I beginning in the fall of 2020. The Trailblazers will be an FCS Independent in football and will join the Western Athletic Conference for all other sports.

The Trailblazers went from a junior college to a four-year university in 2013. Before that, they were previously known as “Dixie State College.”

DSU is currently in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, winning a championship in just one season of membership.

Western Athletic Conference

Dixie State’s jump to Division I was led to accepting an invitation from the WAC and all sports but football will participate in the conference. The Trailblazers will begin WAC regular season competition during the 2020-21 school year.

“Several factors make Dixie State University a great fit for the WAC,” Commissioner Jeff Hurd said. “Commitment to quality academics and athletics programs, along with the long-term vision that President Williams has for the University’s growth, are at the top of the list. I have now doubt that Dixie State will make a smooth transition to Division I and to the WAC.”

The Trailblazers will become the ninth member of the conference in 2020-21, joining California Baptist University, Chicago State University, Grand Canyon University, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, New Mexico State University, Seattle University, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and Utah Valley University.

“Dixie State University is located in the fastest growing city in America and in a state that is supporting higher education at unprecedented levels,” said Brian Mueller, President of Grand Canyon University and Chairman of the WAC’s Board of Directors. “The university has a growing student body and is investing in excellence in their academic and athletic programs. They have some outstanding athletic facilities, including a Division I level basketball arena. Like Grand Canyon and California Baptist, Dixie State will be competitive immediately and will be a strong contributor to the continued growth of the Western Athletic Conference.”

Dixie State will not be eligible for WAC postseason competition in any sport in which the winner of the league’s automatic qualifier for an NCAA championship, that includes baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s soccer, softball, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and volleyball.

They will be eligible for cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field conference championships beginning in 2020-21, but as unattached entries.

In the sport of golf, Dixie State will not be eligible for the league’s automatic team or individual qualifier to the NCAA Division I Men’s or Women’s Championship.

The Trailblazers will be immediately eligible to win regular-season titles in all sports in the WAC.

During the press conference, Dixie State announced a traveling trophy for the renewed rivalry between the Trailblazers and Utah Valley University.

Dixie State Athletic Director Dr. Jason Boothe announced that Denis and Diane Lyman have donated $1 million to begin the much needed renovations to the softball facilities.

FCS Independent

During the press conference, Dixie State announced that they will be an FCS Independent in football. They will become the fourth team go independent in football, joining Hampton, North Alabama and North Dakota.

On the heels of the announcement of moving to Division I, Dixie State and Southern Utah agreed to a three-game series. The Trailblazers will face the Thunderbirds in their first ever game on the Division I FCS level on September 5, 2020. They will also play in 2022 and 2024.

They also have some arrangements in place to play Weber State and Montana State.

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Dixie State To Join WAC, Become FCS Independent In Football