SAN BRUNO, Calif. --- The West Coast Conference announced today the addition of Creighton University as an affiliate member in the sport of women's rowing, starting with the 2010-11 season.
"We are very excited about the addition of Creighton University to the West Coast Conference as an affiliate member in women's rowing," WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich said. "Creighton's institutional mission and profile is very well aligned with our schools both athletically and academically. We're pleased to add an affiliate member in a sport that continues to emerge at the collegiate level."
The West Coast Conference began sponsoring women's rowing in 1997 with five institutions - Gonzaga University, Loyola Marymount University, University of San Diego, Saint Mary's College and Santa Clara University - that still make up the conference's women's rowing sponsorship today. San Diego claimed its first-ever WCC rowing title at the 2010 event, while Gonzaga has claimed 12 titles (1997-2005; 2007-09) and Loyola Marymount won the 2006 championship.
Creighton will be the conference's sixth member in women's rowing and will make its debut at the 2011 West Coast Conference Championships on Friday, April 29, 2011 at Lake Natoma in Gold River, California. The Bluejays will be the first affiliate member since the University of Nevada competed as a member of the WCC in baseball through the 1991 season (1970-91).
"It's an honor for Creighton to become an affiliate member of the West Coast Conference for women's rowing," Creighton Director of Athletics Bruce Rasmussen said. "We are excited to be part of a great conference as well as to have the opportunity to compete for conference championships and awards. I am excited to challenge our program to reach a new level and being a part of the WCC will help us reach that goal."
Creighton has competed as an independent in women's rowing since the program began competition in the fall of 1994. Bluejays head coach Dan Chipps, a Sacramento native, is entering his 11th year with the program. Creighton, which is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference in all of its other varsity sports programs, has had 20 women selected to the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete Award team since 2007.
About the West Coast Conference
The West Coast Conference was formed in 1952 and has evolved and grown to become a nationally recognized and competitive force in Division I intercollegiate athletics, with 13 conference-sponsored sports: baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, women's rowing, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis and women's volleyball. The WCC is characterized by the stability of its membership - only two conferences have been together longer - and its unique emphasis on combining excellence in athletics with excellence in academics.
About Creighton University
Creighton University, a Catholic, Jesuit institution located in Omaha, Neb., enrolls more than 4,100 undergraduate and 3,200 professional school and graduate students. Nationally recognized for providing a balanced educational experience, the University offers a rigorous academic agenda with a broad range of disciplines, providing undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs that emphasize educating the whole person: academically, socially and spiritually. Creighton has been a top-ranked Midwestern university in the college edition of U.S. News & World Report magazine for more than 20 years. For more information, visit our website at: www.creighton.edu.