By Lauren Abraham
Communications Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
The past few years have been very exciting for Grand Canyon University’s athletic teams. In 2013, GCU won its second consecutive Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II. That fall, the university began the transition from Division II to Division I. Since transitioning to Division I, it has been an exhilarating time for GCU students, staff and athletes.
The mission of GCU’s athletic department is to use intercollegiate athletics as a platform in developing Christian role models and embodying high standards of excellence in the overall development of student-athletes. GCU student-athletes, coaches and staff are encouraged to emulate Christ in all aspects of their lives.
GCU is a member of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Since joining the conference, many of GCU’s athletic teams have been having phenomenal seasons, gaining the support of fans in Phoenix and across the nation. Attending sporting events, especially in GCU Arena, is a thrilling experience.
Men’s basketball games are some of the most popular events at GCU. These games bring the student body together to support their fellow Lopes. The Havocs, a group of students who attend GCU sporting events, cheer on the men’s basketball team and create a spirited and energetic student section. In 2013, upon transitioning to Division I, former NBA All-Star, Olympian and World Team member Dan Majerle took over the GCU men’s basketball program.
In their first season competing in Division I, the men’s basketball team finished third in their conference. The team has continued to have successful seasons, and this year, the team currently holds one of the best records in Division I men’s basketball. The team will be eligible for the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament in 2018.
Women’s Track and Field
Track and field is another popular sport at GCU. The women’s track and field team had a great season in 2015, as they won their second consecutive WAC Indoor Championship title. The team is composed of talented athletes, several of whom have been recognized as WAC Athlete of the Week.
The GCU baseball team also took home the conference title in the WAC last year, after a successful season under Head Coach Andy Stankiewicz. The season included an overall winning record, with highlight victories over NCAA regional participant Kansas and 2012 College World Series Champion Arizona.
Men’s and Women’s Soccer
Many exciting things have been happening for the soccer program, such as the ongoing construction for GCU’s new soccer stadium. Schellas Hyndman was also named as the new men’s head soccer coach. Coach Hyndman is a former Major League Soccer Coach of the Year, and has one of the highest winning percentages in Division I men’s soccer history.
Basketball, track and field, baseball and soccer are just some of the many sports that compete at GCU. The past few years competing in Division I have given GCU opportunities to grow and compete while representing Christ. Moving forward, many exciting things are in store for Grand Canyon University athletics.
Grand Canyon University offers everything students need to enjoy a full college experience, from NCAA Division I athletics to suite-style residence halls and clubs and organizations. To learn more about GCU, contact us today!