Menlo moving its athletic affiliation to another conference


Menlo College will change its athletic affiliation next school year, moving to the Golden State Athletic Conference after nearly 20 years as a member of the California Pacific Conference.

The Golden State Athletic Conference Board of Directors announced the decision Tuesday, making the Oaks the league's ninth member beginning with the 2015-16 season.

"Menlo College is proud to join the Golden State Athletic Conference," Menlo President Dr. Richard Moran said. "Our student-athletes add innovative and strategic thinking to their collaborative spirit, which is fitting for the entrepreneurial area we live in – Silicon Valley."

The GSAC does not sponsor football, though Menlo has played an independent football schedule for all but a few years since becoming a four-year institution in the late 1980s. The conference does not sponsor wrestling either.

Menlo men's sports include baseball, basketball, football, golf, soccer, and wrestling. Women's sports include basketball, golf, soccer, softball, volleyball, and wrestling. Menlo also has a co-ed Competitive Cheer team.

"On behalf of the members of the GSAC, I welcome Menlo College into the conference," GSAC Board of Directors chairman Dr. Paul Ague said. "The college fits within our conference mission and strategic plan."

The Oaks follow former Cal Pac rival William Jessup into the conference. Menlo has competed against every school at one point or another in several sports.

"Menlo College has a strong Champions of Character tradition which is very important to fitting into our current conference membership, and an important pillar to being a member of the NAIA," GSAC Commissioner Mike Daniels said.

The GSAC current membership includes Arizona Christian University, Biola University, Hope International University, San Diego Christian College, The Master's College, Vanguard University, Westmont College and William Jessup University.

"The GSAC is one of the premier NAIA conferences in the nation and provides Menlo College's student-athletes with the opportunity to compete against nationally recognized programs on a regular basis," said Menlo Athletic Director Keith Spataro, a former wrestling coach at the institution. "This is a tremendous opportunity for us to join in on the GSAC's tradition of excellence and push our already successful athletic programs to new heights."

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Menlo Athletics

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