The American Collegiate Athletic Conference is pleased to announce that it has admitted University of California at Santa Cruz to full membership effective immediately. The admittance vote by the ACAA athletic directors and subsequent approval by the Presidents' Council brings the ACAA membership to eight full-time institutions and one affiliate member.
"We have worked over the last several years to bring UC Santa Cruz to the ACAA," said Commissioner Kelly J. Higgins. "The Banana Slugs increase our presence on the West Coast and they pair nicely with ACAA charter member Mills College, only 70 miles away in Oakland."
"UC Santa Cruz is excited to have our athletic program join the American Collegiate Athletic Association beginning in 2019 and be a part of the strong athletic competition the ACAA provides for our student-athletes," said UC Santa Cruz Director of Athletics & Recreation, Susan W. Harriman. "The change allows our student-athletes to compete across the nation against like-minded institutions which the Banana Slugs already compete against."
"We are excited that the ACAA presidents have endorsed the addition of the Banana Slugs as part of ACAA family, and the move makes sense from a strategic standpoint for the only Division III UC," said UC Santa Cruz Senior Associate Director of Athletics, Dino Pollock. "It will benefit many of our constituencies, including our fans, students, alums, and friends of Banana Slugs Athletics. We are thrilled to be fulfilling our commitment to our student-athletes by enhancing their overall collegiate experience by providing recognition and a legitimate postseason route to conference and NCAA championships."
UC Santa Cruz is a NCAA Division III program that sponsors 15 varsity sports and has been competing as an independent with the exception of the women's golf program that has competed as part of the American Southwest Conference. The school is well-known for the Banana Slug moniker, which was adopted in 1986, and has brought national attention to the campus.
Since its founding in 1965, the University of California, Santa Cruz, has earned international distinction as a university with high-impact research and an uncommon commitment to teaching and public service. Currently with an enrollment of more than 18,000 students, UCSC boasts 65 undergraduate majors and graduate degrees in 41 academic areas. The campus, with views of the Pacific Ocean, is one of 10 campuses that comprise the University of California system and the only campus that competes at the NCAA DIII level.
The American Collegiate Athletic Association is a NCAA Division III conference that began play in the fall of 2017. The current eight full members of the league in 2019-20 are: UC Santa Cruz, Finlandia University, Mills College, Mount Mary College, SUNY Delhi, Pine Manor College, Pratt Institute, and University of Valley Forge. In addition, Wisconsin Whitewater is an affiliate member of the ACAA in men's soccer. The ACAA sponsors competition in eight sports: women's and men's cross country, women's and men's soccer, women's volleyball, women's and men's basketball and softball.