SUU's Wyatt Next in Line as Big Sky Conference Chair

Published: June 03, 2015 | Read Time: 2 minutes

Southern Utah University President Scott L Wyatt was appointed president chair of the Big Sky Athletic Conference for the 2015-16 season, during the Big Sky Division 1 summer conference, hosted on SUU’s campus this week. Wyatt, who will assume leadership from Weber State’s president, Charles A. Wight, on July 1, 2015, will serve as during the Big Sky Conference’s 52nd year and 27th year of women's competition.

Wyatt will serve alongside Mary Culling of Eastern Washington University, the 2015-16 vice chair.

The Big Sky Conference is governed by the Presidents' Council for each of the 12 full member institutions, including Weber State, Northern Arizona, Idaho State and Montana. The president chair will also run the president’s meetings held annually in June and October.

Of his perspective as president of a Big Sky institution, Wyatt is interested in the student athlete's focus on their role as students, explaining, “While our student athletes’ success on the field is certainly of great interest to all Big Sky member institutions, we are unabashedly committed to first ensuring their success in the classroom. They are students first, and our goal is to insure that everything we do enhances their education and preparation for life and careers."

SUU joined the Big Sky in 2012, along with North Dakota. Since joining the Big Sky, Southern Utah has accrued two conference championships, both in 2014-15 in women’s basketball and softball. SUU also saw its first football playoff appearance in school history in 2013.

The Big Sky's full members represent nine states spanning from the Pacific Ocean to the Red River Valley of North Dakota. The league is represented along the entire west coast with institutions in Washington, Oregon and California. League schools also range up and down the Rocky Mountains with institutions in Montana, Idaho, Utah, Arizona and Colorado. It is “The Heart of the American West.”

The Big Sky sponsors championships in 16 sports, including men’s and women’s cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field, basketball and tennis. In addition, there are also championships in football, and women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s golf and soccer.  The Big Sky sponsored softball for the first time in 2013. The Thunderbirds look forward to another year of competition in the Big Sky Conference with its president at the helm.

The Big Sky Conference was established in 1963 by six charter members – Idaho, Idaho State, Gonzaga, Montana, Montana State and Weber State. Those six schools formed the foundation of the Big Sky before the league expanded in 1970 by adding Boise State and Northern Arizona. Gonzaga left the Sky in 1979 and was replaced by Nevada, which gave the league eight members. The conference grew to nine schools in 1987 with the addition of Eastern Washington.

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