|Grand Canyon Antelopes|
|University||Grand Canyon University|
|Athletic director||Mike Vaught|
|Basketball arena||GCU Arena (7,000)|
|Baseball stadium||Brazell Stadium (1,500)|
|Soccer stadium||GCU Stadium (6,000)|
|Other arenas||Antelope Gymnasium (2,000)|
|Mascot||Thunder the Antelope|
|Colors||Purple, Black, and White |
The Grand Canyon Antelopes (more commonly referred to as the Lopes) are the 21 athletic teams representing Grand Canyon University, located in Phoenix, Arizona. Most of the university's athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division I level in the Western Athletic Conference.Men's volleyball competes in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) effective beginning in the 2017-18 academic year. The beach volleyball program competes as an independent.
GCU was a member of the NAIA until the early 1990s when it transferred to NCAA Division II, in which it competed until 2013.
The university has undergone a transition from a small struggling non-profit liberal arts college to a large modern non-profit private university. Along with the general campus upgrades has come an increase in athletics and athletic facilities.
On November 27, 2012, Grand Canyon University announced that it had accepted an invitation to join Division I's Western Athletic Conference, effective July 1, 2013.This move made Grand Canyon the only for-profit institution with a Division I athletic program.
GCU's business model was at the center of an emerging controversy in college sports. In July 2013, the chief executives of all 12 members of the Pac-12 Conference sent a joint letter to the NCAA asking that the organization review whether for-profit institutions have a place in Division I sports.Later that year, Arizona State University issued a separate statement questioning the school's allegiance to the NCAA's business model. GCU CEO Brian Mueller accused ASU president Michael Crow of being behind the Pac-12 letter. Crow would later double down on his accusations, falsely claiming in 2017 that 11 of the 12 Pac-12 schools would not play GCU because of its for-profit business model, and also asserting that GCU sought to play Pac-12 schools solely for exposure on the Pac-12 Network. As of February 2018, ASU continues to refuse to schedule GCU in any sport; however, counter to Crow's 2017 assertion, 10 Pac-12 members have scheduled GCU in at least one sport since the Antelopes' move to Division I, although only Arizona and Utah had faced GCU in men's basketball.
The university announced a five-year sponsorship deal with Nike on May 27, 2015 as a part of Grand Canyon's athletic expansion.
On August 23, 2017, the NCAA officially approved Grand Canyon's move to Division I, elevating the university to active membership status. GCU immediately became eligible for postseason competition.
Grand Canyon University sponsors teams in 10 men's and 11 women's NCAA sanctioned sports:
Men's basketball is coached by Dan Majerle, former basketball player with the Phoenix Suns. GCU won three NAIA Men's Basketball Championships at the NAIA Division I level in 1975, 1978, and 1988. The 2007 PacWest Conference Championship and a berth in the 2007 NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Tournament. GCU has seen two Lopes basketball alumni go on to careers in the NBA, including: Horacio Llamas, the first Mexican-born player to play in an NBA game.; and Bayard Forrest, former basketball player with the Seattle SuperSonics and Phoenix Suns. Croatian national team player Emilio Kovačić played his first university basketball seasons in Grand Canyon, before leaving to Arizona State.
Women's basketball won the 2007 PacWest Conference Championship and a berth in the 2007 NCAA Women's Division II Basketball Tournament.
Men's golf is coached by Mark Mueller whose father is GCU president Brian Mueller.
Men's soccer won the 1996 NCAA Men's Division II Soccer Championship with a 3-1 win over Oakland University. Men's Soccer is now a member of the Western Athletic Conference, beginning 2013-2014 season.
Softball was added in 2003 and in 2010 the team made its first NCAA Tournament Appearance in the 2010 NCAA Division II Women's College World Series Tournament. 2010 also saw the Lopes set a new program record for most wins in a season going 42-11.
Women's tennis won the 1981 NAIA national women's tennis championship.
Men's track and field
Men's track team won the 2012 NCAA Division II men's Indoor Track and Field Championship scoring 54 points.
NCAA men's lacrosse made a brief appearance as an official school sport at GCU from 2008-2011. The team began in 2008 and played the first lacrosse game in school history on February 10, 2008, an 8-18 loss to the University of Arizona (MCLA DI). In 2010 GCU and the few other NCAA DII lacrosse programs in the Southwest formed the Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association In the Lopes' only season as a member of the WILA, the team recorded a 3-5 conference record. After a number of below .500 seasons combined with increasing travel costs due to lack of NCAA Division II competition in the university announced in March 2011 it would end Division II lacrosse competition. Shortly after the university announced the program will compete at the varsity-club level in the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association. The program joined the Southwestern Lacrosse Conference (SLC) and plays in the MCLA Division I level in the SLC's Pacific Division. In 2015 and 2017, GCU won the MCLA Division 1 National Championship.
Men's rugby was approved for addition to the GCU club sports lineup in 2013. Although it is officially a club sport, the team is under the auspices of the Athletic Department, and has access to Athletic Department facilities and support personnel. The team began competing in the 2014–2015 academic year. Former University of Arizona collegiate All-American Ryan Kelly is the head coach, and rugby sevens specialist Merrick Firestone is the associate head coach.
GCU Rugby has undertaken a significant recruiting effort, bringing in a large initial recruiting class for the Fall 2014 semester that includes many experienced high school rugby players from across the country, including several High School Rugby All-American invitees. GCU Rugby anticipates hosting a Fall 7s tournament on the GCU campus in September, 2014.
Men's ice hockey began in 2016 at the ACHA DII and DIII levels until 2019 when they got accepted for the DI level. Women's ice hockey began in 2017 and is currently a member of the WWCHL and competes in DI of the ACHA.
Grand Canyon University has several athletic facilities where its 21 NCAA athletic programs host home games.
GCU Arena is host to the school's men's and women's basketball teams in addition to women's volleyball. The venue opened in 2011 as a 5,000-seat venue before being expanded to increase capacity to 7,000 seats in 2014.
The baseball team plays home games at Brazell Field at GCU Ballpark, where a brand new stadium was built to surround the existing field in 2018. The stadium is named after Grand Canyon's longtime baseball coach Dr. Dave Brazell. The softball team hosts its home games at GCU Softball Stadium which also opened in 2018.
GCU Stadium is home to the men's and women's soccer programs. The facility opened in 2016 and can hold in excess of 6,000 fans. GCU ranked in the top 10 in both 2016 and 2018 in average attendance for its men's soccer games.
Antelope Gymnasium, which used to house GCU's indoor sports, has served as a secondary indoor facility since 2011 after the opening of GCU Arena. Antelope Gymnasium is the full time venue for the men's volleyball team.
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The Grand Canyon University Arena is a 7,000-seat, 135,000-square-foot (12,500 m2) multi-purpose entertainment and athletics facility in Phoenix, Arizona that is owned and operated by Grand Canyon University. The arena is the home of Grand Canyon University Lopes men's and women's basketball teams and other athletic events. The arena's passionate student section, known as the "GCU Havocs", has gained national attention as one of the best collegiate student sections.
The Grand Canyon Antelopes men's basketball team represents Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. They are a member of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). As of 2013 they are led by head coach Dan Majerle and play their home games at the GCU Arena. They made the jump to NCAA Division I and joined the WAC on July 1, 2013.
The Grand Canyon Antelopes men's soccer program represents Grand Canyon University in all NCAA Division I men's college soccer competitions. Founded in 1985, the Antelopes have competed in the Western Athletic Conference since 2013. The Lopes are coached by Schellas Hyndman. GCU plays its home matches at GCU Stadium.
The Grand Canyon Antelopes baseball team represents Grand Canyon University in NCAA Division I college baseball. The team participates in the Western Athletic Conference. They are currently coached by Andy Stankiewicz and assistant coaches Gregg Wallis, Rich Dorman and Paul Panaccione. They play home games on campus at Brazell Field at GCU Ballpark. The Lopes recently completed a four-year transition period from Division II to Division I, where Grand Canyon could not qualify for the WAC Tournament nor the NCAA Tournament until the 2018 season. The Antelopes have four NAIA baseball titles to their name, winning in 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1986. The school made a return to the WAC for the 2014 season after competing in the conference from 1995-1998, winning the North Division title in 1998.
The 2013–14 Grand Canyon Antelopes men's basketball team represented Grand Canyon University during the 2013–14 college basketball season. This was head coach Dan Majerle's first season at Grand Canyon. The Antelopes competed in the Western Athletic Conference and played their home games at GCU Arena, with one postseason game at Antelope Gymnasium. This season was year 1 of a 4-year transition period from Division II to Division I. As a result, the Antelopes were not eligible to make the NCAA Tournament and did not participate WAC Basketball Tournament. However the Antelopes could compete in the NIT, CIT, or CBI tournaments should they be invited. They finished the season 15–15, 10–6 in WAC play to finish in third place. They were invited to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament where they lost in the first round to Pacific.
The 2013–14 Grand Canyon Antelopes women's basketball team represented Grand Canyon University, during the 2013–14 college basketball season. It was head coach Trent May's seventh season at Grand Canyon. The Antelopes competed as new members of the Western Athletic Conference and played their home games at GCU Arena. This was year 1 of a four-year transition period from D2 to Division I. As a result, the Antelopes were classified as a D2 team for the 2013–14 season. The Antelopes weren't eligible to make the D1 or D2 basketball tournaments and did not participate in this season's WAC basketball tournament. However the Antelopes could have competed in the WNIT or WBI tournaments if they were invited. The Antelopes finished the season third in the WAC and were invited to participate in the WBI.
Brazell Field at GCU Ballpark is a college baseball stadium on the campus of Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. It hosts the Grand Canyon Antelopes of the Western Athletic Conference.
YurView Arizona is a is an American cable television channel serving Phoenix, Arizona, United States. The station is owned by Cox Communications. The station's studio facilities are located on the northwest end of Phoenix. The transmission signal is available to Cox cable television subscribers in central and southern Arizona, which includes the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas.
The 2016–17 Grand Canyon Antelopes men's basketball team represented Grand Canyon University during the 2016–17 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. They were led by head coach Dan Majerle in his fourth season at Grand Canyon. The Antelopes played their home games at the GCU Arena in Phoenix, Arizona as members of the Western Athletic Conference.
The Grand Canyon University Stadium is a collegiate soccer venue located on the campus of Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. The soccer-specific stadium has a capacity of 6,000 and includes a full-sized soccer field. The field is located on the west end of the school's campus, sitting directly in front of Antelope Gymnasium, the university's secondary indoor athletic facility, and is in close proximity to Brazell Field at GCU Ballpark, home of the GCU baseball program. The facility debuted on August 19, 2016 when the stadium hosted 6,402 fans for a Grand Canyon Antelopes men's soccer game against the UCF Knights. The debut crowd featured the most fans to watch a collegiate soccer game in the state of Arizona. GCU Stadium hosts the school's men's and women's soccer teams.
The 2016–17 Grand Canyon Antelopes women's basketball team represents Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, during the 2016–17 NCAA Division I women's basketball season. It was head coach Trent May's tenth season at Grand Canyon. The Antelopes compete as members of the Western Athletic Conference and played their home games at GCU Arena. The 2016–17 season was year 4 of a 4-year transitional period for Grand Canyon from D2 to D1. In years 2–4 Grand Canyon is classified as a D1 school for scheduling purposes. They played a full conference schedule, and they could win the regular season conference title. However Grand Canyon couldn't participate in the conference tourney until the 2017–18 season, at which time they will also be able to enter the NCAA tournament, should they win the conference. Grand Canyon was eligible to participate in the WBI or WNIT should they be invited. They finished the season 15–12, 7–7 in WAC play to finish in fifth place.
The 2017–18 Grand Canyon Antelopes men's basketball team represented Grand Canyon University during the 2017–18 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. They were led by head coach Dan Majerle in his fifth season at Grand Canyon. The Antelopes played their home games at the GCU Arena in Phoenix, Arizona as members of the Western Athletic Conference. They finished the season 22–12, 9–5 in WAC play to finish in third place. They defeated UMKC and Utah Valley to advance to the championship game of the WAC Tournament where they lost to New Mexico. They were invited to the College Basketball Invitational where they lost in the first round to Mercer.
The 2017–18 Oregon Ducks women's basketball team represented the University of Oregon during the 2017–18 NCAA Division I women's basketball season. The Ducks, led by fourth-year head coach Kelly Graves, play their games at the Matthew Knight Arena as members of the Pac-12 Conference. They finished the season 33–5, 16–2 in Pac-12 play to win the Pac-12 regular season title. They also won the Pac-12 Women's Tournament for the first time in school history and earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Women's Tournament where they defeated Seattle and Minnesota in the first and second rounds, Central Michigan in the sweet sixteen before falling to Notre Dame in the elite eight. With 33 wins, they finished with the most wins in school history.
The 2018–19 Grand Canyon Antelopes men's basketball team represents Grand Canyon University during the 2018–19 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. They are led by head coach Dan Majerle in his sixth season at Grand Canyon. The Antelopes play their home games at the GCU Arena in Phoenix, Arizona as members of the Western Athletic Conference. They finished the season 20-14, 10-6 in WAC play to finish in third place. They defeated Seattle and Utah Valley to advance to the championship game of the WAC Tournament where they lost to New Mexico State. They were invited to the College Basketball Invitational where they lost in the first round to West Virginia.
The 2019–20 Grand Canyon Antelopes men's basketball team will represent Grand Canyon University during the 2019-20 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. They will be led by head coach Dan Majerle in his 7th season. The Antelopes will play their home games at GCU Arena in Phoenix, Arizona and are members of the Western Athletic Conference.