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Utah Valley University Moves to Western Athletic Conference for 2013

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In 2009, Utah Valley University became a full member of Division I NCAA athletics. Now, just four years later, the Wolverines will be joining a new athletic conference.

UVU announced on Tuesday that the Orem, Utah, school will formally join the Western Athletic Conference in July of next year. UVU is currently a member of the Great West Conference, but with rival schools scattered across the country, traveling to more regional WAC schools promises to cut down on travel costs.

Director of Athletics Michael Jacobsen, who says this move was five years in the making, points to plenty of benefits in joining the WAC.

"The WAC has a great brand. It has a great reputation. And so, as people from the outside look at our university—not just athletics but our whole university—I think it puts us all on a higher level, a different plane."

UVU may bump into in-state rival Utah State on their way into the WAC. The Aggies announced earlier this year that they will be leaving the WAC in July to join the Mountain West Conference.