The Fighting Sioux will compete as MPSF members in men's swimming and diving beginning with the 2011-12 season.
Other MPSF institutions that compete in men's swimming and diving include Air Force, Brigham Young, Cal State Bakersfield, Pacific, Seattle, Hawai'i, UNLV, and Wyoming. Additionally, the University of Denver will join the conference in 2012-13.
"This is an incredibly significant move for our men's swimming and diving program," said Faison. "It provides our student-athletes with a true conference home, and the chance to compete against highly regarded programs for a conference championship, as well as the opportunity to earn individual athletic and academic awards."
The MPSF was established during the 1992-93 season to serve the competitive needs of member institutions from the Big West, Pacific-10 and Western Athletic Conferences, as well as other selected universities in the western United States, and to provide championships competition for Division I intercollegiate Olympic sports in a conference setting.
The founding principles on which the MPSF was originally formed were to provide enhanced competition and championship opportunities for sports without conference affiliation, to contain the costs of competition, and to ensure the survival of sports impacted by Title IX and other fiscal pressures.
In 2010-2011, the MPSF sponsored competition in 11 intercollegiate Olympic sports, adding men's and women's swimming for the first time, while serving approximately 1,800 student-athletes on 86 teams from 38 universities in 12 western states. All MPSF teams compete at the NCAA Division I level in men's soccer, men's and women's water polo, men's and women's indoor track and field, men's and women's gymnastics, men's and women's swimming, women's lacrosse and men's volleyball. MPSF champions are eligible to compete in NCAA championships with MPSF men's soccer, men's and women's water polo, and men's volleyball champions earning automatic qualification into NCAA championship events.
During the 2009-2010 season, MPSF teams won four NCAA championship team titles, bringing the Federation's total to 61 since the first season of competition in 1992-93.
"This is a great time to be part of the Fighting Sioux men's swimming and diving program. We now have a conference home, which was a priority moving forward," said UND head coach Steve Parsons. "This impacts us on all fronts - it not only gives us a conference home, but it gives the men's team a direction and will have a positive effect on recruiting. The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation is a great conference to be a part of, and is one of the toughest in the country for men's swimming & diving. We are looking forward to the move and the new challenges that await our men's program."
Earlier this summer, UND's women's swimming and diving program accepted membership into the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).
For more information on the MPSF, please visit www.mpsports.org.
UND's 2011-12 Conference Affiliations
Great West Conference (GWC): Baseball, Men's and Women's Basketball, Men's and Women's Cross Country, Football, Women's Golf, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Men's and Women's Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, Volleyball
Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA): Men's and Women's Hockey
America Sky Conference: Men's Golf
Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF): Men's Swimming and Diving
Western Athletic Conference (WAC): Women's Swimming and Diving (affiliate member)