Pac-12 Adds CSU Bakersfield In Men's Soccer
WALNUT CREEK, CALIF.- The Pac-12 has announced today that it will be adding CSU Bakersfield as an affiliate member of the Conference in men's soccer beginning in 2013.
CSUB will become the Pac-12's seventh member in men's soccer, joining Cal, Oregon State, San Diego State, Stanford, UCLA and Washington.
"We would like to welcome the CSU Bakersfield men's soccer program as an affiliate member of the Pac-12," Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said. "Coach Tobin has built a program that has gained national prominence in a hurry. We already have some of the strongest men's soccer programs in the country and the addition of CSUB will make the Conference even more competitive in the future. We are looking forward to having the Roadrunners join the Pac-12 in 2013."
The Roadrunners, who posted a 12-4-5 mark last season and became the first team since the Division I reclassification to earn an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Roadrunners will play their 2012 season as scheduled in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and are expected to be a preseason Top- 25 team, while returning Mac Hermann Trophy Award candidate Gyasi Zardes.
In order for a conference to be eligible as an automatic qualifier for the NCAA Tournament in any team sport it must have six members. Cal, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA and Washington are the only full-time members of the Pac-12 that play men's soccer. The addition of CSUB as an affiliate member will give the Pac-12 seven teams, though San Diego State will leave for the Big West Conference in 2015. The Pac-12 has affiliate members in three sports: men's soccer, men's swimming and diving and wrestling. CSUB is also a Pac-12 member in wrestling.
"This is one of the biggest days in the history of CSUB Athletics," CSUB Athletic Director Jeff Konya said. "One of our most successful sports, men's soccer, is joining one of the most respected and prolific conferences in collegiate soccer, the Pac-12. I couldn't be happier for this program, Coach Tobin, our student-athletes and the city of Bakersfield, because it's a win for us all."
CSUB men's soccer won back-to-back Pacific Division titles in the MPSF the last two seasons while also advancing to the MPSF title game on both occasions as well. This season their 1-1 regulation draw against then #1 New Mexico, helped push the 'Runners into a position to not only earn an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament, but also host a first round match. That match against Saint Mary's drew a record crowd of 2,600 fans, ranking it near the top in attendance in the NCAA's first round.
"I am absolutely delighted for the program," said CSUB head coach Simon Tobin. "Since we moved to Division I two years ago we wanted to be an elite team, we now have an opportunity to play in an elite conference. It's brilliant for CSUB soccer, CSUB Athletics and the city of Bakersfield."