Oct. 24, 2013
PORTLAND, Ore. -
Concordia University-Portland has officially accepted an invitation to become the 11th full-time member of the NCAA Division II Great Northwest Athletic Conference, GNAC Commissioner Dave Haglund announced Thursday.
The invitation is contingent upon Concordia being admitted into the NCAA's membership process. Concordia plans to apply to the NCAA by the upcoming Feb. 1 deadline, with a decision rendered by the NCAA Division II Membership Committee expected this summer.
The GNAC, one of the top Division II conferences in the country, currently has member institutions in five states and one Canadian province. Concordia would join Western Oregon University as the second institution from Oregon in the GNAC, whose headquarters have been based in Portland since 2012.
"Concordia is a quality institution with a proud history in athletics, and we are extremely excited about its prospects as a full-time member of the GNAC," said Brian Rogers, chancellor at University of Alaska Fairbanks and chair of the GNAC CEO Board.
"For some time, conference officials have viewed Concordia as an excellent candidate for Division II and GNAC membership, and we couldn't be more excited about incorporating this outstanding institution into one of the leading conferences in the country."
If accepted into the NCAA membership process, the Cavaliers would begin competing as a GNAC member in the fall of 2015 and be eligible for NCAA postseason play beginning in the fall of 2017.
The decision by the GNAC CEO Board to extend a membership invitation to Concordia was unanimous.
"Our presidents and athletic directors were extremely impressed with Concordia, and we know it will be an outstanding member of the GNAC," said Haglund. "Concordia is blessed with outstanding leadership, led by president Dr. Charles Schlimpert and athletic director Matt English, and we believe it will be an excellent fit for the GNAC. We feel fortunate to have added another major metropolitan area as part of our conference footprint."
Currently a member of the NAIA's Cascade Collegiate Conference, Concordia sponsors 15 of the GNAC's 16 officially recognized sports. The only sport in which it doesn't participate is football. Concordia will compete in the GNAC in men's and women's soccer, volleyball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's indoor track and field, men's and women's outdoor track and field, men's and women's golf, softball, and baseball.
Concordia has had great athletic success at the NAIA level, capturing five consecutive conference all-sport trophies and earning 55 conference championships -- including at least one in each of their sports -- over the past decade.
The Cavaliers have also placed in the top 15 of the NAIA Directors' Cup standings for five straight seasons, finishing as high as ninth in 2008-09 and 2012-13.
Upon admittance to the NCAA, Concordia will join the University of Alaska Anchorage, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Central Washington University, Montana State University Billings, Northwest Nazarene University (Idaho), Saint Martin's University (Wash.), Seattle Pacific University (Wash.), Simon Fraser University (BC), Western Oregon University and Western Washington University as full-time members of the GNAC.
The GNAC also has four affiliate members in football (Azusa Pacific University, Humboldt State University, Dixie State University, and South Dakota School of Mines) and two affiliate members in men's soccer (University of Mary and South Dakota Mines).