La Sierra University in Riverside, Calif., will join the California Pacific Conference beginning with the 2013-14 academic year, bringing conference membership to 10 institutions in California and Arizona. Dr. Larry McKinney, president of the Cal Pac Council of Presidents, confirmed the unanimous support of the membership for LSU's addition.
The addition of the Golden Eagles, presently part of the Association of Independent Institutions within the NAIA, marks the fourth new Cal Pac member in the last two years. LSU sponsors men's soccer, men's and women's basketball, women's volleyball, baseball, and softball.
"La Sierra is an outstanding university and a perfect fit for our growing conference," Commissioner Don Ott said. "The entire league is excited they are joining us, adding to our unique mix of public and private institutions in the West. I think 'thrilled' is too light a word to express the mood of our membership."
The Cal Pac, which formed primarily as a sports league of Bay Area NAIA schools, has now widened its circle to embrace the entire length of California and into Arizona. Along with LSU, the Marymount College, Soka University, and Embry-Riddle (Ariz..) joined the conference as "southern" members with 2012 being their first year of competition. They join "northern" members Simpson University, William Jessup University, Pacific Union College, Menlo College, California Maritime Academy and UC Merced.