SAN MARCOS, Calif. — The move of Cal State San Marcos athletics teams into the NCAA’s Division II has been approved, the school announced Wedneday.
The Cougars athletic program will be one of five making a three-year transition from the NAIA. They will remain in the NAIA in the upcoming academic year, and begin to compete the following year in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, which includes UC San Diego and 11 California State University schools.
“The coaches are very excited not only about joining the NCAA but also the CCAA,” said Steve Scott, the former long distance champion runner who is the head coach for cross-country and track.
“We will be able to establish rivalries with schools like UC San Diego and Cal Poly Pomona, which will create a lot of excitement amongst our community and student body,” he said. “It has been an unbelievable transformation from where we started from to where we are now.”
Cal State San Marcos, which recently announced plans to build a new arena for its basketball teams, will become eligible for full NCAA membership in fall 2017. The Cougars won’t be able to participate in Division II post- season events until then.
The school is following in the footsteps of Point Loma Nazarene University, which completed its transition process and was recently granted full Division II membership. The Sea Lions compete in the Pacific West Conference, which includes opponents like California Baptist, BYU-Hawaii and Fresno Pacific.