Say aloha to the two newest members of the Big West Conference: the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners and the UC San Diego Tritons. Both schools became official members of the conference yesterday after being approved for membership in November 2017. The Roadrunners are full-fledged members, while the Tritons, who are transitioning to Division I status, will become full members in 2024.
Here are things every University of Hawaii fan should know about these two schools:
♦ In sports that UH participates in, the Roadrunners compete in men’s and women’s basketball; baseball; women’s volleyball; women’s soccer; softball; women’s beach volleyball; women’s golf; women’s track and field; and men’s and women’s swimming and diving.
♦ Bakersfield became a Division I school in 2010. The Roadrunners were most recently in the Western Athletic Conference.
♦ The Tritons men’s basketball program was a Division II power, winning national titles in 1993, 1994 and 1997.
♦ The school’s basketball and volleyball teams play their home games at the 3,497-seat Icardo Center on the university’s campus. Named after longtime boosters Jimmie and Marjorie Icardo, the facility celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2019.
♦ Levi Cooper competed for the Tritons’ men’s wrestling program before transferring to Arizona State. Today, Cooper is better known in the professional wrestling world as “Tucker” – one half of the WWE tag team, Heavy Machinery.
UC SAN DIEGO:
♦ In sports that UH participates in, the Tritons compete in men’s and women’s basketball; men’s and women’s volleyball; baseball; softball; women’s soccer; men’s and women’s tennis; women’s water polo; men’s and women’s swimming and diving; women’s track and field; and women’s cross country.
♦ The UC San Diego campus is located in the residential area of La Jolla, where the 1992 U.S. basketball Dream Team trained.
♦ The basketball and volleyball teams play their home games in RIMAC Arena. The 4,200-seat facility first opened its doors in 1995. It’s first major event was a speech by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton.
♦ Triton athletics teams have competed in 222 NCAA Tournaments at the Division II level.
♦ Notable UC San Diego alumni include Billy Beane, owner of Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics. Beane was famously depicted in the baseball film, “Moneyball.”
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