Grand Canyon Antelopes

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Grand Canyon Antelopes
Grand Canyon Antelopes logo.svg
University Grand Canyon University
Conference WAC
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Mike Vaught
Location Phoenix, Arizona
Varsity teams21
Basketball arena GCU Arena (7,000)
Baseball stadium Brazell Stadium (1,500)
Soccer stadium GCU Stadium (6,000)
Other arenasAntelope Gymnasium (2,000)
MascotThunder the Antelope
ColorsPurple, White, and Black [1]
Western Athletic Conference in Grand Canyon's colors WAC logo in Grand Canyon colors.svg
Western Athletic Conference in Grand Canyon's colors

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

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 highest level of intercollegiate athletics sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association

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.

Western Athletic Conference

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.


Athletic expansion

GCU was a member of the NAIA until the early 1990s when it transferred to NCAA Division II, in which it competed until 2013.

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

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. [2] This move made Grand Canyon the only for-profit institution with a Division I athletic program. [3]

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. [4] Later that year, Arizona State University issued a separate statement questioning the school's allegiance to the NCAA's business model. [5] GCU CEO Brian Mueller accused ASU president Michael Crow of being behind the Pac-12 letter. [6] 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. [5] 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. [5]

Pac-12 Conference American collegiate athletics conference

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 Public university located in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Arizona, United States

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 Mueller

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. American athletic equipment company

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. [7]


Grand Canyon University sponsors teams in 10 men's and 11 women's NCAA sanctioned sports: [8]