SOURCE: Concordia University Irvine

Concordia University Irvine

July 20, 2015 15:23 ET

Concordia University Irvine Advances in NCAA Division II Membership Process

Concordia Positioned to Be Only NCAA Division II School in Orange County

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwired - Jul 20, 2015) - Concordia University Irvine (CUI) announced today that it has advanced to year two in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Membership process. Colleges and universities seeking to become Division II members must complete a three-year membership process before becoming active and eligible for championship competition. 

Concordia University Irvine has been accepted as a Provisional Member into the (Pacific West) PacWest Conference and the NCAA Division II. The Eagles will begin conference competition in the PacWest this season and nonconference action against regional and national NCAA Division II schools. CUI will look to advance to year three in 2016-17 and continue towards full membership in 2017-18. 

Consistent growth in enrollment and financial stability at Concordia University Irvine, as well as notability in athletics and academic honors and achievements, have positioned CUI to pursue NCAA Division II membership. 

"We believe that the NCAA Division II model is an excellent fit with our Lutheran heritage, our core values, and our approach to educating the whole person," said Concordia University Irvine Executive Vice President, Chief Enrollment Officer Gary McDaniel. "Advancing in the Division II acceptance process is a testament to the quality of our University's faculty, staff, and overall educational experience."

A balanced emphasis on academic excellence and athletic achievement make NCAA Division II colleges and universities attractive to student-athletes. With seasons not played year-long, student-athletes are able to play sports, take part in campus life, do well academically, and foster relationships in the community while undertaking their athletic pursuits, according to the NCAA.

This fall, CUI Eagles will begin playing in the Pacific West (PacWest) Conference. PacWest Conference schools include former GSAC opponents Azusa Pacific University, California Baptist University, Fresno Pacific University, and Point Loma Nazarene University, as well as institutions in Hawaii, the Bay Area, and Southern Utah. The PacWest falls within the NCAA Division II West Region, along with the California Collegiate Athletic Association and Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

"This announcement is a testimony to the hard work of the Concordia University Irvine faculty and staff," CUI Athletic Director Dave Bireline said. "The athletic program and institution as a whole are excited and well prepared to begin competition in the PacWest and in the NCAA Division II. The entire athletic administration, coaches, and university faculty and staff, have fully supported this transition and put in countless hours of hard work to help mold CUI into an NCAA Division II institution."

CUI has 19 varsity sports and approximately 475 student-athletes who currently participate in its intercollegiate athletic program. Over the last five years, CUI has won five NAIA National Championship Titles in baseball, men's basketball, women's volleyball, men's volleyball and, most recently, softball in 2013.

NCAA Division II is made up of 300 colleges and universities in 44 states. A high championship participant ratio -- the highest among all three NCAA Divisions -- is credited to an emphasis on regional competition which helps student-athletes reduce missed class times. 

NCAA Transition Timeline

About Concordia University Irvine
Concordia University Irvine prepares students for their vocations -- their calling in life. Concordia University Irvine offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and adult degree programs in a beautiful Southern California location in the City of Irvine with online and regional cohort options. Concordia's undergraduate program is distinctive among universities in California because of its nationally recognized Core Curriculum, and its Lutheran heritage that provides a thoughtful and caring Christian community that lives out the theology of "Grace Alone. Faith Alone." Concordia is a U.S. News Top Tier Regional University and has been named by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the fastest growing private nonprofit master's institutions. Concordia University Irvine enrolls over 4,000 students.

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