IRVINE, Calif. — Cal State Bakersfield and UC San Diego will join the Big West Conference in 2020, with Bakersfield immediately becoming a member and UC San Diego going through a four-year reclassification to Division I before becoming an official member in 2024.
League commissioner Dennis Farrell said Monday that with the Big West marking its 50th anniversary in 2018-19, the expansion to 11 members comes at a fitting time.
Starting in 2020-21, CSU Bakersfield will participate in men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, women’s cross country, women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s track and field, women’s volleyball and beach volleyball. The school has been an associate member in beach volleyball for the last two years.
UC San Diego will compete in men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track and field, men’s and women’s volleyball, and women’s water polo. The men’s volleyball team is currently an associate member as the conference begins that sport in 2018.
CSU Bakersfield moved to Division I in 2010, with the men’s basketball team earning a berth in the 2016 NCAA Tournament and the NIT last season.
UC San Diego moved to Division II in 2000-01.
The eligibility of UC San Diego’s teams to compete in the Big West single-site championship sports during its reclassification period is yet to be determined. The school won’t be eligible to compete for the league’s NCAA automatic qualification in single-site championship sports until July 1, 2024.
Other Big West members are: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara and Hawaii.