Dixie State to leave GNAC, head to Rocky Mountain in football

ST. GEORGE – Dixie State University announced today it has accepted an invitation to join the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) as an associate member for football, effective July 1, 2016.

Dixie State’s 12 other NCAA Division II programs will remain in the Pacific West Conference. The Red Storm will play the 2015 football season as its final year as a football-playing member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference before making the move to the RMAC.

Red Storm RB Colton Peterson gets upended, Dixie State University vs. Menlo College,  St. George, Utah, Oct. 25, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Red Storm RB Colton Peterson gets upended, Dixie State University vs. Menlo College, St. George, Utah, Oct. 25, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Football is pleased to welcome Dixie State as an Associate Member beginning in 2016,” RMAC commissioner Chris Graham said. “The addition of a 12th Football playing member within the region helps solidify a full and balanced conference schedule, and adds a quality institution and program to our sponsoring members.”

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology will join the RMAC in 2016, as previously announced, to bring the total number of teams to 12.

The RMAC’s history began March 6, 1909 with the forming of the Colorado Faculty Athletic Conference by the following four charter members: University of Colorado, Colorado A&M (now Colorado State University), Colorado College and Colorado School of Mines.

In 1967 the named changed to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Over the course of its storied history, the conference has been home to the University of Utah, Brigham Young University, Wyoming, Montana State, Utah State and Idaho State, among others.

“This is a terrific step forward for our football program,” athletic director Jason Boothe said. “Joining the RMAC gives our team a home in a league with amazingly rich tradition. We are grateful to the GNAC and the opportunities it has provided us over the years and look forward to our future.”

Dixie State football joined the GNAC in 2008 and has an average travel distance of 938 miles between it and its current GNAC member schools. The RMAC’s geography will trim that distance down to just 662 miles, allowing for more regional rivalries.

In joining the RMAC, Dixie State will benefit from the conference’s “earned access” agreement with the NCAA Division II Football Playoff, allowing improved access to the postseason if ranked high enough in the regional rankings.

Since 2006 and moving to Division II, the Red Storm have beaten RMAC teams five times, with two wins over both Adams State and Western New Mexico, along with a win over Colorado Mesa.

DSU is scheduled to open the 2015 season against Colorado Mesa in what will be the last non-conference matchup between the two schools.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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  • My Evil Twin November 11, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Sounds good! Now if we could just get rid of that awful, stupid “RED STORM” name!

    • Zonkerb November 13, 2014 at 4:46 am

      Now if we could just get rid of you

    • Hike November 13, 2014 at 10:46 am

      Here comes the Dixie women’s Red Storm. Maybe that explains their aggressiveness. Some say red storms cause moodiness. That’s a nice description of what they really are like.

  • FOOTBALL DAD November 12, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Going to miss Dixie State and all their loyal fans. We met a lot of nice people in our visits to St. Georges. Thanks for your hospitality!!

    SFU football parent.

  • Koolaid November 13, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    938 miles represents the yardage that other football teams have stacked up against Dixie State this season in those blowout games. Instead of a new conference, how about a new coach?

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