Dixie State University athletics announced Tuesday DSU football will be part of the Rocky Mountain Athletic conference effective July 1, 2016.
“I am proud to announce … we have accepted an invitation to join the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference for football only,” Athletic Director Jason Boothe said.
This decision was made two weeks prior. Dixie State will be the 12th member of the RMAC. The Storm will finish out the 2015 season in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. The Storm’s 12 other programs will remain in the Pacific West Conference.
The RMAC currently has 11 football-playing member institutions. As of two weeks ago, the RMAC presidents unanimously accepted Dixie State in as the 12th football-playing member institution.
“We are very excited about the opportunities about us going into the RMAC,” head coach Scott Brumfield said. “We feel like it is going to be a great advantage to us in numerous ways.”
One of the biggest ways Brumfield feels is an advantage is the geographical rivalry that could be created with the closeness of the schools on the western side of Colorado.
This new change will cut the travel expenses for Dixie State and will put less stress on the coaches and athletes. The shortest distance travelled in the GNAC for the Storm was 938 miles, which is around 300 miles further than the longest distance the Storm will be travelling in the RMAC.
“It was only fitting that Dixie State become the 12th member, as what we refer to as an associate member for football,” RMAC Commissioner Chris Graham said.
Dixie State’s acceptance will coincide with the entry of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology out of Rapid City, South Dakota, Graham said. It was accepted into the program last January as the 15th full member … participating in all sports as the 11th football-playing member which will take effect in 2016 as well.
The presidents of the RMAC also made the decision it will be a closed football schedule starting in 2016. This means the NCAA Division II rules allow the RMAC to have 11 contests during the season. This also includes a full round-robin schedule with all conference members starting in 2016.
Other football members in the RMAC include Colorado Mesa, Colorado School of Mines and Technology, Colorado State University-Pueblo, Chadron State College, Adam State University, Western New Mexico University, Western State University, New Mexico Highlands University, Black Hills State University and Fort Lewis College.
Another perk of the RMAC Graham said is the officiating
“This is the finest official
program that I have seen and been involved with,” Graham said. “We had six officials move to Division II — we have an outstanding program and it is very professional.”
Along with moving to the RMAC, Boothe also announced plans to create a bigger stadium for the Storm. He said the athletics program plans to start on these improvements very soon and its goal is to get around 10,000 seats and to create a bigger stadium.