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What They Are Saying...

Sept. 2, 2010


Director of Athletics Mike Roth: "I'm excited about BYU joining WCC. Everybody that's been paying attention to the national landscape of intercollegiate athletics and what happened with the Big Ten and Pac-10 earlier this spring, and recently with BYU seriously considering going independent in football, meant their (BYU's) other sports had to land someplace. It's impossible to create an independent schedule in all of those sports."

"Our coaches are excited about the opportunity. One of the things we believe at Gonzaga, and I believe the conference embraces this also, is to get better, you have to continue to want to get better. You have to try and find ways to improve. We're not bringing in just in men's and women's basketball, but virtually in each league sport, a program from BYU that will be competitive in every sport. What that will do for us is across the board make us more competitive. BYU is a national brand, are nationally known, and will raise the profile of the league even more so. That's a positive thing."

Men's Basketball Head Coach Mark Few: "It's a positive step for the WCC. In BYU we're definitely adding a quality program from a basketball point of view. They've been in the Top 25 in recent years and have been a NCAA Tournament participant. Anytime we add somebody like that it's a positive thing."

Women's Basketball Head Coach Kelly Graves: "I'm really excited. I'm a Utah kid and been following BYU since I was a little boy. Ironically, Jeff Judkins, who is the women's basketball coach, was one of my heroes when I was a kid. He and I have become good friends so I'm excited about it. I think it's a great move, a high profile school that fits in a lot of ways in what we believe in and do in the WCC."


President David W. Burcham: "Loyola Marymount enthusiastically welcomes Brigham Young University into the West Coast Conference. BYU strengthens the WCC competitively, and BYU's commitment to academic excellence mirrors the commitment of the other WCC member institutions."

Director of Athletics Dr. William Husak: "The West Coast Conference has kept its eye on the changing landscape of collegiate athletics and has evaluated opportunities for expansion. Brigham Young University brings a rich athletic tradition to the West Coast Conference. Our staff, coaches and athletes are excited by the challenge to compete against another quality program within the WCC, which already is home to so many outstanding teams, coaches and universities."

Men's Basketball Head Coach Max Good: "They're a great addition to our conference. I think they were ranked 12th in the RPI last year. They will make everybody's strength of schedule higher. It will make everybody's RPI higher and gives us two more games against very, very capable opponents. I see no negatives to them coming into the league at all and on a personal relationship, Dave Rose is one of the guys I really respect in the league, and associate head coach Dave Rice is one of my closest friends in the entire business. We worked together at UNLV, so I'm really pleased that they are going to be joining our conference."


President Andrew K. Benton on BYU's solid national academic standing and its faith-based heritage: "Having Brigham Young University in our conference will add more excitement for our students and fans when BYU competes in Firestone Fieldhouse and our other athletic venues. We look forward to BYU being part of the WCC and anticipate it will positively impact and intensify our athletics program."

Director of Athletics John Watson called the move: "...extremely positive for Pepperdine and the WCC. Pepperdine and BYU have a long tradition of competition in men's volleyball as members of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. This brings another highly competitive, nationally recognized school to the WCC and will especially elevate men's basketball and make our conference better."

Men's Basketball Head Coach Tom Asbury: "This is fabulous for basketball. Now, it's another team that we've got to leapfrog because they'll come in above us. But this is great for our conference. It's a super addition to the league."

Women's Basketball Head Coach Julie Rousseau: "We had the chance to go to BYU last year for the WNIT and had a very good trip. BYU is a very reputable athletic department. It's a faith-based institution that definitely fits the model of the WCC and what we represent. They'll be great competition in women's basketball. Their coach, Jeff Judkins, is well-respected and has always fielded competitive teams. I'd like to welcome them to the WCC family."

Women's Volleyball Head Coach Nina Matthies: "This is great news and I'm excited. BYU is known for its strong volleyball programs. I love playing there, although we haven't had a chance to go there in a long time. This is very good for the conference."

Women's Soccer Head Coach Tim Ward: "I've been good friends with Jennifer Rockwood (BYU's women's soccer coach) for many years. I'm excited from a soccer perspective. The WCC is already one of the best women's soccer conferences in the country, and adding BYU brings a traditional Top 25 team in, so it's great. I'm excited about playing them because I love having quality opponents on the schedule. It makes a very good conference even better. BYU fits because it gives the WCC another faith-based institution. It's a great move."

Men's Golf Head Coach John Geiberger: "BYU has been very competitive in our sport, and more competition makes you better. It'll make our kids and our coaches work harder, and that's a good thing. BYU brings a marquee, national name to our conference."


President and WCC Presidents' Council Chair Rev. E. William Beauchamp: "The West Coast Conference is excited to welcome Brigham Young University as our ninth member institution. In BYU, we are adding a private, faith-based institution with a strong academic reputation and tradition of excellence in athletics. We feel they will be a good athletic fit with our programs that are annually challenging for post-season appearances and national championships. We are looking forward to working with BYU in the months and years ahead."

Director of Athletics Larry Williams: "The University of Portland is excited to include BYU in the WCC. We strive to develop success-driven student-athletes and teams, and BYU offers a fantastic opportunity for us to accelerate that development."

Men's Basketball Head Coach Eric Reveno: "For our men's basketball programs, the addition of BYU is very exciting. With Gonzaga already a top team nationally every year, the addition of BYU does not increase any existing challenges but will expand resources and exposure while increasing the reward."

Men's Cross Country Head Coach Rob Conner: "BYU is one of the most respected and consistent men's cross country programs in the nation, and Portland has the longest conference win streak in the nation. It should make the WCC championship must-see television next fall. We are looking forward to the challenge."

Women's Soccer Head Coach Garrett Smith: "The recent addition of BYU to the WCC, in my opinion, will only enhance the conference. BYU brings a rich tradition of athletics with nationally recognized programs to our already prominent conference within Division I athletics. With regards to women's soccer specifically, the BYU women's soccer program is a perennial conference champion and I'm sure will continue to strive do so within the WCC with even stronger opposition to face from the likes of Santa Clara, San Diego, and Portland."


Director of Athletics & Recreational Sports Mark Orr: "First off, we're really excited about the addition of BYU to our conference. For Saint Mary's College and all our sports, not just men's basketball, to compete against a program that's been as successful as BYU is a tremendous opportunity. We value what their institution stands for, and certainly look forward to healthy competition in the future. We look forward to having them come to Moraga, and all our coaches and student-athletes are very excited about this wonderful opportunity."

"First, BYU is quality institution. Bringing them into the conference and having the collegiality with them and the opportunity to work with them is an outstanding addition. Secondly, from an athletic perspective, they have established themselves on a national level. In the sport of men's basketball, BYU has been to the NCAA tournament 25 times, including the last four. Along with Saint Mary's and Gonzaga, the WCC will have three of the top-10 winningest programs in the nation over the past three seasons. We have not been in a position to play quality programs like that twice a year, so it's a great opportunity."


President Dr. Mary Lyons: "We are most pleased to welcome an institution of BYU's caliber to the West Coast Conference. Its strong academic reputation and tradition of excellence in athletics is a good fit with our programs."

Executive Director of Athletics Ky Snyder: "We are excited about the addition of BYU to the West Coast Conference. Across the board in all sports, BYU will help increase the competitiveness of the WCC. That is good for the WCC and for the University of San Diego. BYU also brings a national audience, which will highlight San Diego and our sports programs. As a private, faith-based institution with high academic standards, BYU fits well academically with all our WCC schools."


President Rev. Stephen A. Privett, S.J.: "I am delighted to welcome Brigham Young University to the WCC. Like the other eight schools, BYU has a clear focus on undergraduate education and is a values-based institution that places intercollegiate athletics in the proper educational context."

Executive Director of Athletics Debra Gore-Mann: "I am tremendously excited about the announcement that BYU joined the WCC today. The alignment of our shared values both academically and athletically proved to be a common theme today. I spoke to many of our coaches who were equally excited about the strength of competition that the Cougars will bring to conference play. I would like to welcome, AD Tom Holmoe, coaches, student-athletes, alumni, fans and the Cougar nation to the WCC."

Men's Basketball Head Coach Rex Walters: "We are very excited about Brigham Young University joining the West Coast Conference. BYU is a great addition to the basketball side of the league and I'm excited about competing against a great university with an outstanding basketball program."

Baseball Head Coach Nino Giarratano: "I think the addition of Brigham Young University is great. Anytime you have the opportunity to get another quality school or program like BYU it's good for all of us. This will also expand our West Coast Conference schedule from 21 to 24 games and gives us another opportunity to play a quality team. Hopefully it can lead to our conference being able to add a conference tournament and an opportunity for the WCC to get two to even three teams in NCAA Regionals."

Volleyball Head Coach Gilad Doron: "BYU is a great addition for the West Coast Conference. They bring great athletic programs, whether it be in volleyball or basketball. I know for volleyball, it will be tough trip to Provo, but it is going to be great exposure. Their matches have great atmosphere, and it will be a challenge for us."


President Father Michael Engh: "We at Santa Clara extend a hearty welcome to BYU and look forward to meeting their teams on the fields of competition in the WCC."

Director of Athletics & Recreation Dan Coonan: "Santa Clara University has been a proud member of the WCC for 58 years as one its founding members, and I would like to welcome BYU to the West Coast Conference. Like the other eight institutions in the WCC, BYU is a faith-based school with a proud heritage of producing championship teams and graduating student-athletes. At Santa Clara, we are proud of our athletes' ability to compete nationally while simultaneously performing in the classroom and in the community. We look forward to meeting the new challenge that will be presented by BYU and developing this new exciting rivalry for our athletes."

Men's Basketball Head Coach Kerry Keating: "Our basketball program is intent on playing the best competition each year, and obviously BYU offers us a chance to continue to do that. Like the rest of our league, we look forward to competing with them each year."

Women's Soccer Head Coach Jerry Smith: "We're excited about BYU joining the WCC. We've enjoyed many great matches with the BYU Women's Soccer Team over the years. Our scheduling strategy is to put together a schedule that will stretch and challenge us as well as expose any potential weaknesses in our team prior to the NCAA Tournament. BYU is a perennial Top 20 team and is currently ranked #13 and the type of team we look to schedule. In fact, we will play them this October 28th as they are part of our non-conference schedule. Now that they're in the WCC, we will look forward to the opportunity to play them annually."


Listen to past interviews with WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich on the following radio stations:

  • KFAN 1320 AM (Thursday, September 2)

  • KNBR 680/1050 The Sports Leader (Wednesday, September 1)

  • ESPN 700 (Wednesday, September 1)

  • KSL News Radio, "Cougar Cuts" (Wednesday, September 1)

  • Sportsradio 95.5 The Game (Wednesday, September 1)