Idaho Joins Big Sky, Sun Belt - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Idaho Joins Big Sky, Sun Belt

University of Idaho Athletics is reuniting with two former conferences as the Vandals move forward into 2014 and beyond.

The football program rejoins the Sun Belt Conference, where the Vandals were one of the original football members when the league added the sport in 2001. Meanwhile, all other sports – except swimming and diving, once again will be members of the Big Sky Conference – a league the Vandals helped form 51 years ago.

“As a founding member of the Big Sky Conference, we are extremely excited for our return and the opportunity to compete against traditional rivals,” director of athletics Rob Spear said.

The same applies for Vandal football’s once again competing in the Sun Belt.

“We look forward to rejoining the Sun Belt Conference and competing in a league that was recently recognized as the best of the ‘Group of Five’ (MAC, MW, CUSA, AEC, Sun Belt) conferences,” Spear said.

Vandal football last played in the Sun Belt in 2004. The Vandals will be competing for the league title with Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, New Mexico State, South Alabama, Texas State, Troy, Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe. Idaho opens 2014 league play on Sept. 6 at Louisiana-Monroe. The Sun Belt has ties to four bowls in 2014 and five in 2015. In 2014, the ties are the New Orleans, Camellia, Miami-Beach and GoDaddy.com. The CURE Bowl is added in 2015.

“I’m excited to be playing in a great football conference and competing against some great coaches and players,” football coach Paul Petrino said.

All other sports, except swimming and diving, will see many familiar competitors on their Big Sky schedules. Idaho is one of the six schools that founded the Big Sky Conference. Four of the other original six – Montana, Montana State, Idaho State and Weber State, remain a part of the league. In addition to those four and Idaho, Big Sky members include Cal Poly (football only), Eastern Washington, North Dakota, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado, Portland State, Sacramento State, Southern Utah and UC Davis (football only).

"We officially welcome Idaho back to the Big Sky Conference,'' said league commissioner Doug Fullerton, who is beginning his 20th year at the helm of the 51-year-old league. "This is a great day for the Big Sky. Many of our schools are ready to renew rivalries with the Vandals. Idaho is coming off a very successful year in the WAC, and we anticipate the Vandals will be a very strong and competitive member of the Big Sky.''

Additionally, the Vandals’ return to the Big Sky also means a return of men’s golf to the league’s championship offerings. Two schools – Binghamton (New York) and Hartford (Conn.), are men’s golf affiliate members.

Idaho swimming and diving will remain in the Western Athletic Conference as an affiliate member.

  • College

    • 17 former LCSC Warriors continuing pro baseball career in minor leagues

      LEWISTON, Idaho – The highly successful Lewis-Clark State College baseball program currently has 17 former players in minor league baseball as of Wednesday, June 28, including three former major league players trying to get back to the show from the Class AAA level.

    • UW's Kelsey Plum named finalist for Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year

      LOS ANGELES -- University of Washington women's basketball graduate Kelsey Plum was named a "Top Three" finalist for the 2016-17 Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and prestigious Honda Cup during the 41st annual Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) ceremony Monday evening (June 26) at the Galen Center on the campus of the University of Southern California. 

    • Gonzaga's Przemek Karnowski makes Hornets' summer league roster

      SPOKANE, Wash. – Former Gonzaga standout Przemek Karnowski made the Charlotte Hornets’ summer league roster the team released Monday. Charlotte announced the team’s 15-man roster for the 2017 Orlando Mountain Dew Pro Summer League beginning Saturday.

    • WSU basketball player Josh Hawkinson signs with Japanese team

      Former Washington State Cougars forward Josh Hawkinson has signed with the Toyotsu Fighting Eagles of Japan's BL2, according to international basketball reporter David Pick. Hawkinson was named to the 2017 All-Pac-12 second team, after being named a Pac-12 honorable mention in both his sophomore and junior years.

    • Former Zag Ryan Edwards to play final season of basketball at Portland State

      Portland State Basketball Coach Barret Peery has announced the addition of graduate transfer Ryan Edwards to the Viking program for the 2017-18 season. Edwards has signed a grant-in-aid contract and entered school for summer term. Edwards has played three seasons with one redshirt season at Gonzaga University.

    • Gonzaga's Jordan Mathews takes alternate route to NBA, New Orleans Pelicans

      Jordan Mathews is walking in the footsteps of former Gonzaga teammate Kyle Wiltjer, following the Houston Rocket's path to the NBA. After going undrafted in the 2017 NBA Draft, Mathews drew attention from three NBA teams about possibly playing for their Summer League team and ultimately chose the New Orleans Pelicans.

    • EWU's Jacob Wiley will join the Brooklyn Nets

      In a way, it was a blessing for former Eastern Washington University basketball player Jacob Wiley not to be chosen in the two rounds of the National Basketball Association Draft in Brooklyn, N.Y.   But he'll wind up in Brooklyn anyway, as the Nets.

    • Gonzaga's Justin Jacobs & Jake Roberts sign pro baseball contracts

      SPOKANE, Wash.—Two more Gonzaga baseball players realized their dreams of signing a professional contract this week as Justin Jacobs signed as a free agent with the Texas Rangers and Jake Roberts came to terms with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jacobs enters the pro ranks coming off a strong senior campaign.

    • WATCH: Gonzaga's Zach Collins' path to the NBA through hard work and sacrifice

      Our Sam Adams got a chance to talk with Gonzaga's Zach Collins after he was selected 10th overall in this year's NBA Draft. Collins talks about how his work ethic brought him to the position he's in and how he plans to use that to help the Portland Trailblazers.

    • WATCH: UW's Markelle Fultz talks about being the No. 1 draft pick

      Our Femi Abebefe got a chance to talk with Washington Huskies' Markelle Fultz about being drafted No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft. Fultz was the first-ever Husky taken first overall in the NBA Draft and talks about how he plans to help the Philadelphia 76ers this upcoming season.

    More
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • IdahoIdahoMore>>

  • 17 former LCSC Warriors continuing pro baseball career in minor leagues

    17 former LCSC Warriors continuing pro baseball career in minor leagues

    The Warriors currently have 18 NAIA World Series ChampionshipsThe Warriors currently have 18 NAIA World Series Championships

    LEWISTON, Idaho – The highly successful Lewis-Clark State College baseball program currently has 17 former players in minor league baseball as of Wednesday, June 28, including three former major league players trying to get back to the show from the Class AAA level.

    More >>

    LEWISTON, Idaho – The highly successful Lewis-Clark State College baseball program currently has 17 former players in minor league baseball as of Wednesday, June 28, including three former major league players trying to get back to the show from the Class AAA level.

    More >>
  • LCSC's Gunnar Buhner signs with Philadelphia Phillies

    LCSC's Gunnar Buhner signs with Philadelphia Phillies

    Courtesy: Lewis-Clark State WarriorsCourtesy: Lewis-Clark State Warriors

    LEWISTON, Idaho – The list of Lewis-Clark State College baseball players in the minor leagues continues to grow as Gunnar Buhner has signed a free-agent contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.   LCSC, which won its third straight Avista NAIA World Series title earlier this month and its 19th overall, had seven players selected in the Major League draft last week. Buhner, the son of former Major League outfielder Jay Buhner, wasn’t sel...

    More >>

    LEWISTON, Idaho – The list of Lewis-Clark State College baseball players in the minor leagues continues to grow as Gunnar Buhner has signed a free-agent contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.   LCSC, which won its third straight Avista NAIA World Series title earlier this month and its 19th overall, had seven players selected in the Major League draft last week. Buhner, the son of former Major League outfielder Jay Buhner, wasn’t sel...

    More >>
  • Familiar faces selected on Day 3 of MLB Draft

    Familiar faces selected on Day 3 of MLB Draft

    The Lewis-Clark State Warriors had six players drafted on Day 3 of MLB DraftThe Lewis-Clark State Warriors had six players drafted on Day 3 of MLB Draft

    Day 3 (rounds 11-40) of the MLB Draft concluded today and many familiar faces were selected. The Lewis-Clark State Warriors had six players selected in rounds 11-40 and are coming of their 19th and third consecutive NAIA National Championship. The Washington State Cougars had three players drafted on Day 3 (Jones, Matheny, Nealy), while the Gonzaga Bulldogs had two drafted (Frost, Bohling).

    More >>

    Day 3 (rounds 11-40) of the MLB Draft concluded today and many familiar faces were selected. The Lewis-Clark State Warriors had six players selected in rounds 11-40 and are coming of their 19th and third consecutive NAIA National Championship. The Washington State Cougars had three players drafted on Day 3 (Jones, Matheny, Nealy), while the Gonzaga Bulldogs had two drafted (Frost, Bohling).

    More >>