|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, White, and Black |
The Grand Canyon Antelopes are the 21 athletic teams representing Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, more commonly referred to as the Lopes. 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.
Grand Canyon University is a private, non-profit, Christian university in Phoenix, Arizona. Based on student enrollment, Grand Canyon University is currently the largest Christian university in the world.
NCAA Division I (D-I) is the highest level of intercollegiate athletics sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States. D-I schools include the major collegiate athletic powers, with larger budgets, more elaborate facilities and more athletic scholarships than Divisions II and III as well as many smaller schools committed to the highest level of intercollegiate competition.
The Western Athletic Conference (WAC) is an American collegiate athletic conference formed on July 27, 1962 and affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I. The WAC covers a broad expanse of the western United States, with member institutions located in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington, along with the "non-western" states of Missouri and Illinois, as well as Texas.
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 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is a college athletics association for small colleges and universities in North America. For the 2018–2019 season, it has 251 member institutions, of which two are in British Columbia, one in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the rest in the conterminous United States. The NAIA, whose headquarters is in Kansas City, Missouri, sponsors 26 national championships. The CBS Sports Network, formerly called CSTV, serves as the national media outlet for the NAIA. In 2014, ESPNU began carrying the NAIA Football National Championship.
The university has undergone a transition from a small struggling non-profit liberal arts college to a large modern for-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 Pac-12 Conference is a collegiate athletic conference that operates in the Western United States, participating in 24 sports at the NCAA Division I level. Its football teams compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the higher of two tiers of NCAA Division I football competition.
Arizona State University is a public metropolitan research university on five campuses across the Phoenix metropolitan area, and four regional learning centers throughout Arizona.
Brian E. Mueller is an American academic and university administrator. He is the current president of Grand Canyon University and CEO of Grand Canyon Education. Mueller has been the President of the university since July 1, 2008, and a director since March 2009. Mueller is also notably the CEO of the for-profit publicly traded Grand Canyon Education Inc that provides services to GCU.
The university announced a five-year sponsorship deal with Nike on May 27, 2015 as a part of Grand Canyon's athletic expansion.
Nike, Inc. is an American multinational corporation that is engaged in the design, development, manufacturing, and worldwide marketing and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, and services. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, in the Portland metropolitan area. It is the world's largest supplier of athletic shoes and apparel and a major manufacturer of sports equipment, with revenue in excess of US$24.1 billion in its fiscal year 2012. As of 2012, it employed more than 44,000 people worldwide. In 2014 the brand alone was valued at $19 billion, making it the most valuable brand among sports businesses. As of 2017, the Nike brand is valued at $29.6 billion. Nike ranked No. 89 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.
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 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. NCAA Division 1.
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.
The Lopes wrestling team compete in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association. The school won the 2014 NCWA National Duels and Collegiate Cup championships. In March 2016, the school announced that it would discontinue the wrestling program.
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.
Grand Canyon University has several sports facilities where the 20 NCAA athletic programs host home games. The GCU men's baseball team plays home games at Brazell Stadium. The stadium is named after Grand Canyon's longtime baseball coach Dr. Dave Brazell. The GCU women's softball team hosts its home games at Stapleton-Pierson Stadium. This stadium is named for baseball coach Dave Stapleton and softball coach Ann Pierson. The field's inaugural season was 2004.
The Antelope Gymnasium was home to Grand Canyon's men's and women's basketball, men's and women's volleyball and wrestling teams. The facility was replaced by the GCU Arena in 2011 as the university's main athletic arena. Both the men's and women's basketball teams call the 7,000 seat event arena home as well as select women's volleyball and wrestling events. GCU Soccer Field serves as the home field for GCU Lopes soccer and lacrosse games.
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The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) is a college athletic conference whose member teams are located in the western United States. The conference participates at the NCAA Division I level, primarily in Olympic sports that are not directly sponsored by a school's home conference.
The Pacific West Conference is a collegiate athletic conference affiliated with National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II level. Member institutions are located in California and Hawai'i.
The Arizona State Sun Devils are the athletic teams that represent Arizona State University. ASU has nine men's and eleven women's varsity teams competing at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level as a member of the Pac-12 Conference. The mascot was adopted in 1946; earlier nicknames were the Normals and later, the Bulldogs. The Sun Devil mascot, Sparky, was designed by former Disney illustrator Bert Anthony. ASU's chief rival is the University of Arizona Wildcats.
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). They are currently 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 Cox owned-and-operated television station located in Phoenix, Arizona, United States. The station was owned by the Cox Enterprises. The station's studio facilities were located on the northwest end of Phoenix. The transmission signal was available to Cox cable television subscribers in central and southern Arizona, which include 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 Grand Canyon Antelolpes women's basketball team represents Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. They are a member of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).
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 represents 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 finish 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. They were invited to the College Basketball Invitational where they lost in the first round to West Virginia.