Grand Canyon Antelopes
|Grand Canyon Antelopes|
|University||Grand Canyon University|
|NCAA||Division I (transitioning)|
|Athletic director||Mike Vaught|
|Basketball arena||GCU Arena (7,000)|
|Baseball stadium||Brazell Stadium (1,500)|
|Soccer stadium||GCU Soccer Stadium (6,000)|
|Other arenas||Antelope Gymnasium (2,000)|
|Mascot||Thunder the Antelope|
|Fight song||Feel the Place Go Boom|
Purple Black White
The athletic teams of Grand Canyon University are known as the Antelopes (commonly referred to as the Lopes). Most of the university's athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division I level in the Western Athletic Conference. Men's volleyball competes in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA).
GCU was a member of the NAIA until the early 1990s when it transferred to NCAA Division II, in which it competed until 2013.
The university has undergone a transition from a small struggling non-profit liberal arts college to a large modern for-profit private university. Along with the general campus upgrades has come an increase in athletics and athletic facilities.
On November 27, 2012, Grand Canyon University announced that it had accepted an invitation to join Division I's Western Athletic Conference, effective July 1, 2013. This move made Grand Canyon the only for-profit institution with a Division I athletic program.
GCU's business model was at the center of an emerging controversy in college sports. In July 2013, the chief executives of all 12 members of the Pacific-12 Conference sent a joint letter to the NCAA asking that the organization review whether for-profit institutions have a place in Division I sports. Within days, GCU CEO Brian Mueller accused Arizona State University president Michael Crow of being behind this move. The GCU / Pac-12 altercation appeared to die down with time, as the Lopes have played Pac-12 opponents or have them on the future schedule. Grand Canyon played the Washington Huskies in softball in 2015 and is scheduled to play the USC Trojans in women's basketball in 2015 and the Oregon State Beavers in baseball in 2016.
The university announced a five-year sponsorship deal with Nike on May 27, 2015 as a part of Grand Canyon's athletic expansion.
Grand Canyon University sponsors teams in eleven men's and eleven women's NCAA sanctioned sports:
- † = The men's volleyball team competes in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA).
- # = The wrestling team competes as an independent.
- * = Beach volleyball is a fully sanctioned NCAA sport which will have its first national championship in the spring of 2016. The Grand Canyon team competes as an independent.
Men's basketball is coached by Dan Majerle, former basketball player with the Phoenix Suns. GCU won three NAIA Men's Basketball Championships at the NAIA Division I level in 1975, 1978, and 1988. The 2007 PacWest Conference Championship and a berth in the 2007 NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Tournament. GCU has seen two Lopes basketball alumni go on to careers in the NBA, including: Horacio Llamas, the first Mexican-born player play in an NBA game.; and Bayard Forrest, former basketball player with the Seattle SuperSonics and Phoenix Suns. Croatian national team player Emilio Kovačić played his first university basketball seasons in Grand Canyon, before leaving to Arizona State.
Women's basketball won the 2007 PacWest Conference Championship and a berth in the 2007 NCAA Women's Division II Basketball Tournament.
Men's golf is coached by past PGA touring professional Paul Purtzer.
Men's soccer won the 1996 NCAA Men's Division II Soccer Championship with a 3-1 win over Oakland University. Men's Soccer is now a member of the Western Athletic Conference, beginning 2013-2014 season. NCAA Division 1.
Softball was added in 2003 and in 2010 the team made its first NCAA Tournament Appearance in the 2010 NCAA Division II Women's College World Series Tournament. 2010 also saw the Lopes set a new program record for most wins in a season going 42-11.
Track and field, men's
Men's track team won the 2012 NCAA Division II men's Indoor Track and Field Championship scoring 54 points. 
During its four-year transition, the Lopes wrestling team will compete in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association. The school won the 2014 NCWA National Duels and Collegiate Cup championships.
NCAA men's lacrosse made a brief appearance at GCU from 2008-2011. The team began in 2008 and played the first lacrosse game in school history on February 10, 2008, an 8-18 loss to the University of Arizona (MCLA DI). In 2010 GCU and the few other NCAA DII lacrosse programs in the Southwest formed the Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association In the Lopes only season as a member of the WILA, the team recorded a 3-5 conference record. After a number of below .500 seasons combined with increasing travel costs due to lack of NCAA Division II competition in the university announced in March 2011 it would end Division II lacrosse competition. Shortly after the university announced the program will compete at the varsity-club level in Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association The program joined the Southwestern Lacrosse Conference (SLC) and plays in the MCLA Division I level in the SLC's Pacific Division. In 2015, GCU won the MCLA Division 1 National Championship.
Men's rugby was approved for addition to the GCU club sports lineup in 2013. Although it is officially a club sport, the team is under the auspices of the Athletic Department, and has access to Athletic Department facilities and support personnel. The team began began competing in the 2014–2015 academic year. Former University of Arizona collegiate All-American Ryan Kelly is the head coach, and rugby sevens specialist Merrick Firestone is the associate head coach.
GCU Rugby has undertaken a significant recruiting effort, bringing in a large initial recruiting class for the Fall 2014 semester that includes many experienced high school rugby players from across the country, including several High School Rugby All-American invitees. GCU Rugby anticipates hosting a Fall 7s tournament on the GCU campus in September, 2014.
Grand Canyon University has several sports facilities where the 20 NCAA athletic programs host home games. The GCU men's baseball team plays home games at Brazell Stadium. The stadium is named after Grand Canyon's longtime baseball coach Dr. Dave Brazell. The GCU women's softball team hosts its home games at Stapleton-Pierson Stadium. This stadium is named for baseball coach Dave Stapleton and softball coach Ann Pierson. The field's inaugural season was 2004.
The Antelope Gymnasium was home to Grand Canyon's men's and women's basketball, men's and women's volleyball and wrestling teams. The facility was replaced by the GCU Arena in 2011 as the university's main athletic arena. Both the men's and women's basketball teams call the 7,000 seat event arena home as well as select women's volleyball and wrestling events. GCU Soccer Field serves as the home field for GCU Lopes soccer and lacrosse games.
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- Dodd, Dennis (July 17, 2013). "Pac-12 protest targets for-profit Grand Canyon's move to Division I". CBSSports.com. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
- Dodd, Dennis (July 17, 2013). "Grand Canyon CEO calls out Arizona State in D-I controversyI". CBSSports.com. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
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- [dead link]
- "Grand Canyon University Baseball Players Who Made it to a Major League Baseball Team". Baseball-almanac.com. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
- Obert, Richard (2013-03-18). "Dan Majerle named Grand Canyon University men's basketball coach". Azcentral.com. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
- "NBA.com/Stats". Nba.com. 2015-02-05. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
- Worries Tinge Success for Biola's Kovacic Mitch Polin, LA Times, Feb 26, 1991
- Eurobasket.lt Emilio Kovačić
- "GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY - GCU Completes Restructuring of Golf Program". Gculopes.com. 2010-01-09. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
- "GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY - GCU to Make First-Ever NCAA Tournament Appearance". Gculopes.com. 2010-10-05. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
- [dead link]
- Grand Canyon Athletics (2012-05-11). "GCU scores title in second year". NCAA.com. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
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- "2011 Computer Rating". Laxpower.com. 2011. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
- Coyne, Jac (March 10, 2011). "Grand Canyon Decides to Drop Program". Lacrosse Magazine. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
- "Lacrosse to Join MCLA". Grand Canyon University. April 8, 2011. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
- "Rapkin to be a Guest on Lacrosse Talk". Grand Canyon University. October 28, 2011. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
- "Grand Canyon to Start Rugby with Over 50 Players", Goff Rugby Report, August 4, 2014.
- "gcurugby". gcurugby. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
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